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Argentina Country Report

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  • Published Date: April 2020

A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Argentina.

Argentina more than trebled its penetration of smartphones in the six years to the end of the last decade, setting the scene for a steep rise in payments by QR code, already growing in popularity in recent years. Encouraged by new (albeit late-coming) regulation, the banking correspondents network is also primed for development. The number of point-of-sale terminals in Argentina more than doubled between 2016 and 2019, while the acquiring sector was deregulated in 2018, opening the way for new players and competitive efficiencies.

What you will learn from this Argentina cards market report:

  • How regulatory iterations have reshaped the Argentina cards market
  • Why Argentinian retailers remain particularly influential
  • How issuers in Argentina have maintained their margins
  • What is the most significant source of income
  • How the profitability mix has evolved in a tough environment


  • Between 2013 and 2019, all major economic indicators deteriorated, leaving Argentina acutely vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19.
  • The government adopted several market-friendly measures in the latter half of the last decade, although economic growth was impaired by high inflation, unemployment and drought.
  • Although usage is falling, cash represented 54 per cent of total payments value in 2019 and remains the preferred form of payment.
  • Issuing has substantially increased, going from 193 payment cards per 100 adults in 2013 up to 261 in 2019.
  • Argentina credit card data shows ownership will reach an average of 123 cards per 100 adults in 2020, with 32 per cent of total payment cards billed volume.
  • Debit cards maintained their dominance in 2019, with an average of 145 cards per 100 adults and 68 per cent of total billed volume.
  • With a combined market share of 36 per cent, Banco Galicia and Santander are the leading institutions for Argentina credit cards in issue.
  • Visa dominates the Argentinian credit and debit cards network market in terms of billed volume and cards in issue.
  • From $10 pre-tax profit per credit card in 2018, this metric bounced up to $21 in 2019, mainly accounted for by a fluctuating exchange rate. VFR estimates $24 profit per card for 2020.

Argentina Payments Research | Report Contents

Key Topics
Demographics and the economy
Payments environment
Argentina cards market
Mobile payments
Profit pool
The networks
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Online acquiring
Regulatory and other Argentina cards market information

Appendices: Card Payments Data

Appendix I: Demographics and the economy

  • Demographic and economic indicators
  • Ownership of key consumer devices
  • Internet usage by population

Appendix II: Payments environment

  • Access points
  • Account penetration
  • Consumer payment trends
  • B2C e-commerce payment methods

Appendix III: Cards market data

  • Total cards payment metrics
  • Contactless cards metrics
  • Argentina credit card data
  • Total credit cards metrics
  • Credit cards profitability indicators
  • Debit cards numbers
  • Debit cards metrics
  • Prepaid/e-money cards metrics

Appendix IV: Mobile payments data

  • Mobile P2P payments

Appendix V: Profit pool

  • Profit pool

Appendix VI: Card networks

  • Networks' credit card market shares
  • Networks' credit card numbers
  • Networks' credit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of credit card transactions
  • Networks' average credit card transaction value
  • Credit card interchange fees by network
  • Networks' debit card market shares
  • Networks' debit card numbers
  • Networks' debit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of debit card transactions
  • Networks' average debit card transaction value
  • Debit card interchange fees by network (signature debit cards: exempt)
  • Debit card interchange fees by network (signature and PIN debit cards: regulated)

Appendix VII: Key retail banks and issuers

  • Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers
  • Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings
  • Key debit card issuers market shares by debit card numbers

Appendix VIII: Acquirers and processing

  • Merchant acquirer credit card market share
  • Credit card merchant service charges
  • Merchant acquirer debit card market share
  • Debit card merchant service charges
  • Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
  • Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships
  • Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers
  • Credit card acquiring processor market shares by the number of POS transactions

Appendix IX: Online acquiring data

  • Online merchant acquirer market share

Argentina Payments Report | Entities Referenced

AAdvantage Agrocabal Ahora 12 American Airlines American Express Amex ATACYC Banco Central de la República Argentina Banco Ciudad de Buenos Aires Banco Comafi Banco Credicoop Banco de Córdoba Banco de la Nación Argentina Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires Banco de Santa Fe Banco Francés del Río de la Plata Banco Galicia Banco La Pampa Banco Patagonia Banco Provincia de Buenos Aires Banco San Juan Banelco BBVA BCRA Brubank Buenos Aires Underground Cabal CACE Carrefour Cencosud Chamber of Credit and Purchase Cards Citibank CMR CNDC COELSA Compensadora Electronica Comprando Coto Covid-19 Credicoop CVU Debin Descuento City Diners Club Discount World Discover Equifax Veraz Falabella Fidelitas First Data Fiserv Galicia Galicia Administradora de Fondos Getnet GFG Grupo Financiero Galicia Hipotecario HSBC ICBC IMF Industrial and Commercial Bank of China International Monetary Fund Italcred LaPos Celular Link Macro Maestro Mastercard MercadoLibre MercadoPago Monedero Movistar Mundo Descuento Naranja X Nosis Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe Openbank Pago Mis Cuentas Patagonia PayPal PosNet PRISMA Prisma Provincia de Cordoba Rapipago Rebanking Red Link Salto 96 Santander Santander Rio Sistema Unico de Boleto Electrónico Standard Bank Argentina SUBE Sudamericana Holding Supervielle Tarjeta Naranja Tarjetas Regionales Tiendeo Todo Pago Ualá uenta Gratuita Universal UIF Uniform Virtual Key Universal Free Account VALEpei Visa Visa Argentina VisaNet Wenance Wilobank Yacaré


Verisk reports deliver invaluable market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring/processing, retail banking, and consumer credit throughout Latin America. Analysts and researchers use both primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and Latin American experts.

See more Latin America reports or explore the full range of worldwide cards & payments reports available for 72 markets.

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