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A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Argentina, with clearsighted commentary backed by relevant data.
This report provides a detailed analysis of market trends in Argentina's cards and payments market with valuable insight into emerging trends.
Values and volumes for many key performance indicators in the payments market for Argentina are provided, including details of cash use, debit and credit card transactions and mobile payments over the review period.
Research and analysis have been collated to identify the potential for growth and market opportunities.
The report enables clients to understand and evaluate key market trends and growth opportunities in Argentina's cards and payments industry.
The number of QR-accepting merchants is now greater than the number of card-accepting merchants, a boon for payments given the near-universal ownership of smartphones.
One in four card transactions takes place through a digital wallet, with credit transfers now the leading non-cash consumer payment method.
The supportive regulatory framework has led to a flourishing fintech ecosystem, with huge potential on offer once inflation is tamed for adroitly positioned players and entrants.
Having reached $28 in 2021, pre-tax profit per credit card is set to increase in coming years, supported by outstandings growth and higher APRs.
Card-fee revenues have been rising, making up for MSC caps. Debit cards will reach half of the total cards' purchase volume in 2022 and exceed that of credit cards during 2023.
Online purchase value jumped 3.7 times during the first two pandemic years and should reach 3.3 per cent of GDP by year-end 2022. However, inflation is a persistent and unwelcome variable that continues to undermine already diminished household purchasing power.
Thanks to an open and interoperable platform supported by the central bank and acquirers, almost one in four POS transactions during 2021 used a digital wallet or QR code, a rate that is set to increase to almost one in three by 2025.
Indeed, the number of QR-accepting merchants is now greater than the number of card-accepting merchants. Covid accelerated banking penetration to an impressive 95 per cent of adults in 2021, with digital overtaking paper-based payment instruments.
Led by Banco Galicia, Santander and BBVA, the industry has substantially increased issuing, with the aggregate of credit and debit cards in issue surpassing 100 million in 2021. Visa dominates both network markets in terms of billed volume and number in issue.
Electronic payments, including those by card, bank transfer and direct debit, will exceed two-thirds of the total value of consumer payments in 2022. At the point of sale, the number of terminals almost trebled between 2016 and 2021, and Advent has acquired the remaining 49 per cent of processor Prisma.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Regulatory and other cards market information
Argentine Country Report Data Tables
(All 2016-25F unless otherwise stated)
1: Demographic and economic indicators
2: Ownership of key consumer devices
3: Internet usage by population
4: Access points 2016-23E
5: Account penetration
6: Consumer payment trends 2016-23E
7: B2C e-commerce payment methods 2016-23E
8: Total cards payment metrics
9: Contactless cards metrics 2018-25F
10: Credit card numbers
11: Total credit cards metrics
12: Credit cards profitability indicators
13: Debit cards numbers
14: Debit cards metrics
15: Prepaid/e-money cards metrics
16: Mobile proximity payment metrics: 2017-25F
17: Argentina market profit pool including credit card numbers, billed volumes, outstandings, interest incomes, net interest revenues, merchant revenues, card fee revenues, other non-interest incomes, total revenues, net credit losses, operating expenses, total expenses, pre-tax profits, merchant service charges, rollover rates, APR, net credit losses to outstandings, operating costs to revenues, ROA (pre-tax profits to outstandings).
(All 2016-23F below unless otherwise stated)
18: Networks' credit card market shares
19: Networks' credit card numbers
20: Networks' credit card billed volume
21: Networks' number of credit card transactions
22: Networks' average credit card transaction value
23: Credit card interchange fees by network
24: Networks' debit card market shares
25: Networks' debit card numbers
26: Networks' debit card billed volume
27: Networks' number of debit card transactions
28: Networks' average debit card transaction value
29: Debit card interchange fees by network
30: Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers 2018-23F
31: Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings 2018-23F
32: Key debit card issuers market shares by debit card numbers 2018-23F
33: Merchant acquirer credit card market share 2022E
34: Credit card merchant service charges
35: Merchant acquirer debit card market share: 2022E
36: Debit card merchant service charges
37: Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
38: Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships
39: Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers 2022E
40: Credit card acquiring processor market shares by the number of POS transactions 2022E
41: Online merchant acquirer market share 2022E
Demographics and Economy
Argentina is one of largest Latin American countries by population after Brazil, Mexico and Colombia. The population is urbanised and universally literate; however, its growth is slowing.
As of March 2022, there are 64 banks in Argentina, of which 13 are government-owned banks and 51 are privately owned.
The Argentinean cards market enjoyed strong annual double-digit growth in purchase volume between 2016 and 2021 ... issuers took a more conservative credit risk approach and reduced the number in circulation.
Mainly via digital wallets, mobile payments have gained wide acceptance over the past four years. AAR estimates that two out of every three adults will be using a digital wallet by the end of 2022.
Argentina's high interest rates, along with regulation of fees and rates, make for a challenging environment for credit card issuers. Revenues have been volatile over the years.
There is a three-tier card network system in Argentina. The top tier – including Visa, Mastercard and American Express – supports cards with international acceptance; the middle tier features Naranja X , while the third tier is made up of regional and open-loop networks - Cabal and Italcred .
Key Retail Banks and Issuers
Financial system and payment service providers continue to develop fresh products and services, attracting five million new accounts between 2020 and 2021. The advent of digital banks has made a significant contribution to this success.
Acquiring and Processing
Argus Advisory Research (AAR) estimates that, by end of 2022, there will be over 1.6 million POS terminals, thus more than trebling the number of six years before. There are four main card processors here, of which Prisma and Fiserv are the largest, together accounting for around 70% market share.
Online acquiring in Argentina is dominated by Prisma unit PayWay and MercadoPago. AAR estimates that PayWay (previously Todo Pago) dominates the market with over 70% market share of billed volume.
Regulatory and Markets Information
The financial system here is regulated by the Banco Central de la Republica de Argentina (BCRA) through the Financial Institutions Act (Ley de Instituciones Financieras 21526). In addition, the BCRA regulates payment cards activities through Law 25065 and the payment system through Law 26739.
ABC Capital Bank
Association of Public and Private Banks of Argentina
Banco Central de la República de Argentina
Banco Ciudad de Buenos Aires
Banco de Cordoba
Banco de la Nación
Banco Francés del Río de la Plata
Banco Provincia de Buenos Aires
Cuenta Gratuita Universal
Federal Administration of Public Revenue
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
Justice and Human Rights Ministry
Prisma Medios de Pago
Sistema Unico de Boleto Electrónico
Tarjeta Salto 96
Argus Advisory Research reports deliver invaluable market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring/processing, retail banking, and consumer credit. Analysts and researchers use both primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and local experts.
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