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Puerto Rico Country Report

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  • Published Date: December 2016 – Update available July 2020

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


  • Puerto Rico has been in an economic recession since 2006, the deepest and longest recession the island has suffered in six decades. The Caribbean country's relatively small size and lack of natural resources have hampered efforts to stabilise finances, improve the credit rating and restore even modest sustainable economic growth.
  • The recession resulted in a banking crisis in Puerto Rico, leading to a period of consolidation, which has reduced the number of retail banks from 12 to five.
  • Banco Popular dominates the market, accounting for half of total banking assets and branches. Its position in the cards market is even stronger: the bank issues 70 per cent of payment cards and acquires 74 per cent of card transactions.
  • Consumer credit outstandings decreased by 16 per cent between 2012 and 2015; Experts forecast a further decline in 2016 and 2017.
  • Credit card and vehicle loans were the only categories of consumer credit to grow between 2009 and 2015, with outstandings in both increasing by six per cent.
  • By regional standards, the credit cards market in Puerto Rico is highly advanced, due to its status as a 'Territory' of the United States. The Federal Reserve in Washington DC regulates the financial market and sets interest rates, while the country's currency is the American dollar.
  • The credit cards market has recovered progressively to reach an estimated profit per card of $38 in 2015, following losses in 2009 and 2010.
  • The domestic card scheme, ATH, has strengthened its leading position in the debit cards market in recent years – despite competition from Visa and Mastercard.

Puerto Rico Country Report | Table of Contents

Demographics and Economy:
Outlines the key metrics and trends which influence the development of retail banking and payments in the country:

  • Population structure
  • Income
  • Mobile and internet use
  • Economic data

Retail Banking:
Explores the structure of the local banking system, its infrastructure and the leading players. Data includes:

  • Aggregate retail banking indicators
  • Bank branch, ATMs and POS terminals
  • The profitability of top banks

Consumer Finance:
Overview of consumer finance in the country. Categories analysed include:

  • Mortgage loans
  • Personal loans
  • Credit card loans
  • Vehicle loans

Credit Cards:
Industry-leading credit card coverage. We detail the past present and future of the industry through our credit card data and commentary, including:

  • Market size split by consumer and commercial credit cards: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume
  • Profit pool analysis
  • Competitive landscape: networks, issuers

Debit Cards:

  • Market size: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume
  • Competitive landscape: networks, issuers

Prepaid Cards:

  • Market size: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume


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

See more North America Country Reports or explore the full range of payments research reports available for 72 markets.

To find out more or to discuss subscription options, please email: research_enquiries@verisk.com or telephone: +44(0)20 7337 4200.