Launched in late 2020 by the Central Bank of Brazil, the account-to-account payment option PIX saw transactions for Q1 hit 8.1 billion, compared to 4.2 billion for credit cards and 3.8 billion for debit cards.
Data from the central bank, reviewed by vendor Matera, shows that Pix accounted for 35% of all transactions in Q1, up from 23% a year ago. In contrast, credit card transactions were 18% of the total, down from 20% one year ago. Debit card transactions were 16% of total, down from 20%.
QR codes are proving an important part of the Pix success story, accounting for nearly 30% of the platform's transactions. Last year, central bank chief Roberto Campos Neto said that he believes credit cards are on the brink of extinction due to growth in account-to-account-based open payments.
Matera also argues that Pix is a clear challenge to credit cards and can provide a blueprint for the US market, which has just seen the debut if the FedNow payments rail. “With FedNow and RTP, US financial institutions have a real opportunity to innovate on top of these new payment rails to give consumers and businesses better payment options,” says Carlos Netto, CEO, Matera. “Pix shows how intuitive payments can be. It poses the greatest threat yet to credit card dominance."