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.
Demographics and the economy
Argentina cards market
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Regulatory and other Argentina cards market information
Appendices: Card Payments Data
Appendix I: Demographics and the economy
Appendix II: Payments environment
Appendix III: Cards market data
Appendix IV: Mobile payments data
Appendix V: Profit pool
Appendix VI: Card networks
Appendix VII: Key retail banks and issuers
Appendix VIII: Acquirers and processing
Appendix IX: Online acquiring data
Demographics and Economy:
As of 2019, 92% of the population lives in urban centres, while life expectancy at birth is 77.8 years. The country has a literacy rate of 99%, the highest among large and medium-sized economies in Latin America..
Between 2013 and 2019, the total value of payments in Argentina increased by 5.6 times, mirroring the country's currency devaluation trend. During the same period, the exchange rate versus the dollar increased by 9.21 times and the nominal GDP grew by 6.5 times.
The Argentinean cards market enjoyed double-digit annual growth in purchase volumes between 2013 and 2019. However, with inflation accounting for a large proportion of growth in spend, the average annual growth in purchase transactions was 7% in the same period.
Mobile payments have been under development in Argentina since 2009; however, it has gained wide acceptance over the past two years through the use of digital wallets.
Despite an adverse economic environment, credit card profitability grew almost continuously between 2013 and 2019 (with 2018 being the exception). VFR estimates a per-card profit of $21 for 2019.
There is a three-tier cards network system in Argentina. Visa and Mastercard have a combined 76% and 71% market share in terms of cards in issue and billed volume as of December 2019. Visa, however, is the market leader and is well ahead.
Key Retail Banks and Issuers:
Credit card issuing has become more concentrated in recent years with the top six banks controlling 67.3% of credit cards in issue at the end of 2019, up from 59.6% at the end of 2015.
Acquiring and Processing:
As of December 2019, Argentina has over one million point-of-sale terminals, having rapidly expanded its payment card acceptance network over the past three years.
Online acquiring is dominated by Prisma and Fiserv, owing to their long-standing arrangements with Visa and Mastercard. The deregulation of the acquiring market could lead to more intense competition.
Regulatory and Markets Information:
The financial system in Argentina is regulated by the country's central bank, Banco Central de la Republica de Argentina, through the Financial Institutions Act. In addition, the BCRA regulates payment cards activities through Law 25065 and the payment system through Law 26739.
Banco Central de la República Argentina
Banco Ciudad de Buenos Aires
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 La Pampa
Banco Provincia de Buenos Aires
Banco San Juan
Buenos Aires Underground
Chamber of Credit and Purchase Cards
Galicia Administradora de Fondos
Grupo Financiero Galicia
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
International Monetary Fund
Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe
Pago Mis Cuentas
Provincia de Cordoba
Sistema Unico de Boleto Electrónico
Standard Bank Argentina
uenta Gratuita Universal
Uniform Virtual Key
Universal Free Account
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.
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