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How Does Brazil Measure Up Against the 5 Key Indicators of Real-time Payments Success?

ACI recently partnered with GlobalData to identify the leading indicators of real-time success within the payments ecosystem. According to the Prime Time for Real-Time: Global Real-Time Payments Report, there are five key indicators that show the level of maturity and success of real-time payments within a region:

  1. Centrally-driven payments modernization initiatives
  2. Seamless and integrated payments experience with overlay services
  3. Digital payments maturity
  4. Ecosystem of players enriching the customer experience
  5. Openness to alternative methods of payments

While the LATAM region is made up of diverse markets, there are already impactful initiatives that aim to create a consolidated real-time payments scheme in each country. Examples of this have existed since 2002.

Brazil, an immediate payments leader within LATAM, first implemented the Sistema de Transferência de Fundos (SITRAF) in 2002, enabling real-time electronic transfers between customers at different banks. Today, the Central Bank of Brazil continues to lead the way with the launch of PIX, its official instant payments system. This system is focused on central infrastructure and modernization based on the implementation of the ISO 20022 standard.

How does Brazil measure up against the five key real-time success indicators?

1. Centrally-driven payments modernization initiatives

Brazil’s drive for financial inclusion, improved cross-border commerce and its move towards a cashless society are reasons the country receives high marks here. In particular, PIX is promising a centralized payments system that will bring competitiveness to the ecosystem and promote open banking with the introduction of the ISO 20022 standard. The Central Bank of Brazil has played an important role in modernizing the industry through PIX and has helped place Brazil in a leading real-time payments role within LATAM.

2. Seamless and integrated payments experience with rich overlay services

Convenience and customer centricity are key aspects of this success indicator. The Central Bank of Brazil’s agenda promotes competitiveness to help deliver a superior customer experience, which is achieved through seamless and integrated payments with rich overlay services. These services involve different ways of initiating payments other than bank accounts (i.e., QR codes, mobile numbers) and will support the acceleration of immediate payments adoption.

According to the Central Bank of Brazil:

As for convenience, PIX will make it faster and easier to carry out transactions, which will be performed with a QR code or by entering simple information, such as cell phone number, email address or taxpayer identification (technically called a key, nickname or proxy identifier). The gain in flexibility for citizens, companies and governments will foster financial services providers to compete more effectively by delivering products, services and experiences that are more convenient for their customers.1

3. Digital payments maturity level

In 2019, Brazil’s payment volumes were 75 percent paper-based versus 25 percent electronic payments.2 That said, Brazil’s electronic payments volume has been steadily increasing, with great potential for further growth. With PIX now supporting this shift towards digital payments, it will greatly boost immediate payments adoption in the country.

4. Ecosystem of players enriching the customer experience

Encouraging more participants to join the real-time ecosystem will speed up immediate payments development. PIX will facilitate the introduction of these new players through a new open environment. This will help bring in more fintechs, which are playing an increasingly important role within the ecosystem, and have already demonstrated success in Brazil.

As of May 2019, 380 fintechs were operating in Brazil, and two-thirds of Brazilian consumers had adopted some level of fintech, which is higher than the global average.3

5. Openness to alternative payment methods

Brazil’s increasing usage of mobile wallets indicates that consumers are willing to diversify their preferred payment methods. In fact, 58 percent of adults who have a mobile wallet have used it in the past year.4 The challenge now is to integrate these alternative payment methods into the real-time payments ecosystem, which is another area where fintechs will prove invaluable.

While there is still plenty of room to grow, Brazil’s introduction of PIX will solidify its leading role in the development of real-time payments throughout the LATAM region.


Download Prime Time for Real-Time: The Global Real-Time Payments report for more facts and insights you can use to build a real-time payments strategy for this fast-growing market.



[2] Prime Time for Real-Time: The Global Real-Time Payments Report


[4] Prime Time for Real-Time: The Global Real-Time Payments Report

Sales Manager - LATAM

Vlad brings nearly three decades of experience in strategic consulting and innovation, acquisition of business partnerships, development of opportunities, design and implementation of solutions in the financial and payments industry to his role at ACI, leading business development within the LATAM region.