Uruguayans do not escape the global trend and prefer more and more electronic means to make their payments, instead of cash. One example is the strong penetration among consumers of the use of the debit card.
A similar behavior is also observed in the channels that allow electronic payments through cell phones and the internet, and that continue to gain ground. The total amount of mobile and internet payments climbed to US $ 11,417 million in 2018, the product of just over 20 million operations.
Evolution. In five years mobile payments multiplied by more than five in number of operations and by more than nine in amounts. The latest data published by the Central Bank (BCU) show that 3.6 million payments were made last year for a total of US $ 381 million.
Five years ago, in 2014, the amount of payments was just over 666,000 and the amount traded was barely US $ 40 million. The figures show steady growth since that date. During the last year, the average amount of operations for that channel was US $ 104.
Mobile transactions are those that are initiated from a mobile device by a payment instruction sent by the owner by message to the institution where his account is located.
This modality presents a great growth potential from the strong penetration of mobile devices in the daily life of people. As of June last year there were 5.4 million active cell phones, according to the latest data released by the Communications Services Regulatory Unit (Ursec).
Of these, the number of mobile services (voice and data) with internet access, including postpaid and prepaid services, was almost 4 million.
Added to this is the advance in state-of-the-art technologies with wide territorial coverage (and the consequent multiplication in the speed of data transmission), which allow the user’s experience to be optimized and create an environment conducive to change in payment habits. the agents, according to the BCU.
The data published by the BCU reflect only a portion of the total mobile payment market, based on information sent by a financial intermediation institution (Santander), two payment service providers with digital technology (Banred and Paganza) and a company of mobile telephony (Movistar).
The operations of payment of goods and services that are made through internet banking services and terminals specifically designed for that purpose, in which the user enters directly to the bank’s website, also grow exponentially. to the site of the payment service provider or the commercial establishment.
In 2018 there were 16.4 million transactions totaling just over US $ 11,000 million. If the comparison is made with 2016 (the date on which the BCU started measuring Internet payments) during the last year, 9.5 million more operations were made and an additional US $ 4.2 billion were transferred through this channel. The operations reported by the BCU correspond to data provided by Urutec, Banred, Sistarbanc and DeRemate.
Automatic debits totaled 9.5 million operations in 2018 for US $ 3,826 million.
This includes the charges made by the financial intermediation institutions to the bank accounts of their clients, at the request of a third party with the prior authorization of the account holder, and which are generally used to pay for services such as electricity, telephony, television by cable, fee for schools, common expenses and insurance, among others.
When compared to other payment methods (mobile, internet and transfers), automatic debit is the non-face-to-face payment instrument with the lowest growth rate. In 2014, the operations were 5.9 million and amounted to US $ 1,500 million.