More than half of Latin Americans have paid with crypto

  • As digital payments are embraced, consumers want to see more flexibility when mixing crypto and traditional payments
  • Latin Americans are ready to use emerging payment methods like biometrics, digital currency and QR code

According to a new Mastercard survey, Latin American consumers are looking for more services related to crypto and digital payments.

About 51% of respondents in the region have already made a transaction with crypto, and more than a third say they have made a payment for a daily purchase with a stablecoin, according to the new payment methods survey released this week.

Latino consumers are also embracing emerging payment technologies – the survey found that approximately 86% have used at least one emerging payment method in the past year.

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While 77% of Americans and 74% of Europeans prefer traditional payment methods over newer ones, Latin Americans are willing to use emerging methods such as biometrics, digital currencies and QR code in addition to wireless payments.

“More and more Latin Americans are turning to technology to complete their financial transactions, and this trend is expected to continue growing, with an overwhelming 95% making it possible to use a digital payment method throughout the year. Less money in the past years,” said Walter Pimenta, executive vice president of product and engineering for Mastercard Latin America and the Caribbean, in a statement.

The findings are based on a survey conducted between March and April 2022 of more than 35,000 people worldwide.

According to Mastercard, more than half of Latin American consumers are optimistic about the performance of digital assets as an investment. Both tiers want more flexibility to mix crypto and traditional payment methods in their day-to-day operations – a growing trend for consumers and businesses.

“We certainly know the consumer interest, but especially the merchant interest in accepting crypto to earn crypto — not necessarily converting it back to fiat,” said Elion Chin, co-creator of the electronic payment system. Blockworks.

Meanwhile, Mastercard found that support from financial institutions for crypto could also boost consumer confidence in the space: about 69% of people in Latin America and the Caribbean would be more confident in investing – and 67% would feel comfortable doing it or receiving payments in crypto. – if “they are published or supported by a trusted organization”.

Another 82% of respondents acknowledged that they would like crypto-related features to be readily available at their current financial institution.

El Salvador last year became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. In other countries, such as Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Argentina, Brazil and Chile, more and more real estate companies are letting buyers buy or rent homes using bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.

In April, Colombian delivery app Rappi, with operations in nine Latin American countries, teamed up with Bitpay and Bitso to launch a pilot crypto payment program in Mexico as a first attempt at payment acceptance.

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  • Jocelyn Yang



    Jocelyn is a journalist from New York. Before joining Blockworks, she did asset management for the Financial Times B2B publication Financial Advisor IQ and wrote about crypto markets for Forkast.News. Jocelyn has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Emerson College. Born and raised in Beijing, China, she speaks Mandarin as her native language. You can contact Jocelyne at: [email protected]

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