By Peter Frontini
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil's instant payment system Pix will account for more than 40% of the country's online purchases by 2026, a study by fintech Ebanx released on Thursday showed.
The widely popular tool, launched by the country's central bank at the end of 2020, is expected to expand its share of the online shopping market to 40.4% in 2026 from 29.45% last year, according to data collected by the Payments and Commerce Market Intelligence for Ebanx's study.
That would nearly tie with credit cards as the main online payment method clients use in the country, a market expected to be worth $457 billion in 2026.
"Pix revolutionized the payments experience in Brazil," said Ebanx president of global payments, Paula Bellizia, pointing out that 80% of shoppers who purchased something in the past three years from Ebanx's merchants used the tool for their first purchase. Last year alone, that figure was 95%.
Across Latin America, digital wallets such as Mercado Pago or PayPal represent 9% of online purchases, the study showed. In Argentina and El Salvador, they make up nearly a quarter of sales.
Instant payments, however, are not a reality yet for others in the region. While some are testing tools similar to Brazil's Pix or India's UPI, others are still in earlier stages of maturity, she said.
"When we talk about Panama and Ecuador, we're talking about a greater penetration of credit cards," Bellizia added, while in markets such as Mexico, the economy is still mostly focused on cash and debit.
Mexico's central bank revamped its instant payment system last year, launching a service called DiMo, though adoption has been slow to pick up in comparison to Pix.
(Reporting by Peter Frontini; Editing by Michael Perry)