Latin Americans want cryptocurrencies, and not just as hedges for inflation or savings. They want to be able to spend them, too.
A recent Visa survey shared with Brazilian media revealed that 25% of all credit card users in Latin America would like to experiment with cryptocurrencies if payment processors gave them the opportunity to do so.
The third Visa COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment survey sought to assess consumer trends during the lockdown. The survey data revealed that 78% of consumers expect to use new payment technologies in the future—including cryptocurrencies.
The majority of users (58%) expect to make payments through social networks (like WhatsApp Pay or WeChat Pay). Many (42%) also expect biometric payments—transactions authenticated via fingerprints, retinas, or facial recognition.
Cryptocurrencies ranked third in order of importance, with 25% of users eager to use the technology. Digital assets beat other technologies, such as the Internet of Things with 22% and virtual/augmented reality with 10%.
Latin America is already a global leader in terms of cryptocurrency adoption. A recent study by Chainalysis revealed that Venezuela and Colombia were at the top of the world ranking in this area. Several startups and technological solutions have grown in the region thanks to the use of cryptocurrencies to facilitate remittances, loans, and other transactions.
Payment solutions have also moved forward in other areas. For example, WhatsApp Pay was ready to roll out in Brazil before encountering last-minute legal problems. Venezuela enabled an instant SMS payment service and an offline crypto payment service as well, and digital payment startups are very popular in Colombia.
Many habits have changed during the coronavirus pandemic, and consumers have begun to adapt to an altered retail landscape. The use of cash decreased considerably, and demand for contactless payments increased.
Moreover, countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Peru, and even Venezuela are working to harness blockchain technologies in public projects.
In times of crisis, opportunities arise, and the aftershocks of COVID may indeed provide a boost for crypto payments in the region.
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