Digital Payment Methods Are Brazil’s Newest Export

The country’s originals, Pix and Ebanx, could soon hit markets as diverse as Canada, Colombia and Nigeria—with many others on the horizon.

After taking their domestic market by storm, digital payment offerings are on track to become one of Brazil’s leading technology exports. The country’s originals, Pix and Ebanx, could soon hit markets as diverse as Canada, Colombia and Nigeria—with many others on the horizon. 

Promoting mainly end-to-end person-to-person (P2P) and business-to-customer (B2C) solutions, digital payment methods have gained incredible popularity in Brazil since the pandemic. “Pix and Ebanx put Brazil at the forefront of payment methods and money movement,” says Ana Zucato, co-founder and CEO of Noh. 

Two years after hitting the market in November 2020, centralbank-created Pix has become the country’s primary vehicle of financial transactions. Currently, the tool has roughly 131.8 million single-user accounts, of which 9 million are businesses and 122 million are citizens (about 58% of the country’s population). 

In a recent paper, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) cited Pix as an innovation that could significantly lower transaction costs throughout the payment system. According to the report, Pix transactions cost around 0.22%, whereas debit cards average about 1% and credit cards reach as high as 2.2% in Brazil.

Recently, the Central Bank of Brazil reported holding talks with its Colombian and Canadian counterparts about exporting the technology. “We are now beginning to undertake the international part of the Pix operation,” said Chairman Roberto Campos Neto, adding that the South American neighbor will likely be the first foreign country to adopt the system. 

In e-commerce, Ebanx has been opening the door for global companies to enter the Latin American market since 2012. The Brazilian fintech unicorn allows customers to make online purchases by converting local payment methods, such as local credit cards, cash deposits and Pix, to different currencies and banking systems.

After the company’s major success in South and Central America, Ebanx CEO João Del Valle has launched a broad-based expansion into Africa, with operations in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria already underway.

“We intend to help build Africa’s digital economy, promoting financial inclusion and greater access to a variety of goods and services from global companies that wish to enter the African market,” said Del Valle.