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A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Puerto Rico, with clearsighted commentary backed by relevant data.
In February 2020, the island finalised the restructuring of 24 percent of its total debt, a boon for a long-hampered economy.
Card payments value is estimated to reach 22 percent of consumer spending in 2021, while debit cards in issue grew by a third between 2014 and the end of the decade.
P2P service ATH Móvil reached the one-million user mark in 2019, equivalent to 17 percent of total payment cards in issue.
How the island's constitutional status affects cards and payments.
Where cash fits in the payments mix.
What growth rates have been seen in mobile payments.
Why there is scope for more debit cards.
How cards have fared in the ongoing recession.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Demographics and the economy
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Regulatory and other cards market information
Appendices: Card Market Data
Appendix I: Demographics and the economy
Demographic and economic indicators
Ownership of key consumer devices
Internet usage by population
Appendix II: Payments environment
Consumer payment trends
B2C e-commerce payment methods
Appendix III: Cards market
Total cards payment metrics
Contactless cards metrics
Credit card numbers
Total credit cards metrics
Credit cards profitability indicators
Debit cards numbers
Debit cards metrics
Appendix IV: Mobile payments
Mobile proximity payment metrics
Appendix V: Profit pool
Appendix VI: The networks
Networks' credit card market shares
Networks' credit card numbers
Networks' credit card billed volume
Networks' number of credit card transactions
Networks' average credit card transaction value
Credit card interchange fees by network
Networks' debit card market shares
Networks' debit card numbers
Networks' debit card billed volume
Networks' number of debit card transactions
Networks' average debit card transaction value
Debit card interchange fees by network
Appendix VII: Key retail banks and issuers
Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers
Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings
Key debit card issuers market shares by debit card numbers
Appendix VIII: Acquiring and processing
Merchant acquirer credit card market share
Credit card merchant service charges
Merchant acquirer debit card market share
Debit card merchant service charges
Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships
Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers
Credit card acquiring processor market shares by number of POS transactions
Appendix IX: Online acquiring
Online merchant acquirer market share
Demographics and Economy
The island-based Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States with 3.19 million residents as of the end of 2019, a decrease of 11% since six years before.
Puerto Rico's financial system is stable and operates within an interconnected payment framework that includes the Fedwire, CHIPS and ACH funds transfer systems.
The card and payments infrastructure in Puerto Rico is advanced by Latin American standards. Point-of-sale networks began in the 1980s and there are currently 1.27 POS terminals per 100 adults, which compares favourably to other countries such as Colombia (1.31) and Mexico (1.15).
In 2014, Evertec launched a low-value P2P payment service called ATH Movil, available to financial institutions' customers in Puerto Rico, including Banco Popular, FirstBank and several credit unions.
With profit per card at $71 at the end of 2019, this market performs above the regional average. Profitability has rebounded strongly due to higher billed volume and higher MSCs along with lower operating cost to revenue.
At the end of December 2019, Visa and Mastercard had a combined market share of 87% of credit cards in issue and of billed volume. Despite the presence of Visa Debit and Maestro debit cards, the national ATH debit card scheme has a strong presence in terms of both cards numbers and total billed volume.
Key Retail Banks and Issuers
The cards market is highly competitive due to the lack of cross-border barriers with the United States allowing penetration of the market by registered foreign card issuers.
Acquiring and Processing
Banks in Puerto Rico engage directly in merchant acquiring and have built up coverage to embrace over 23,000 affiliated merchants. Banco Popular dominates the market, followed by FirstBank.
Puerto Rico's B2C market approximately doubled in billed volume between 2016 and 2019. According to the island's Sales & Marketing Executives Association, over one million individuals made online purchases during 2019.
Regulatory and Markets Information
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that came into effect near the beginning of the last decade brought the most significant changes to financial regulation in the United States, and with it Puerto Rico, since the 1930s.
A Toda Hora
Apollo Global Management
Automated Clearing House
Banco BBVA Puerto Rico
Banco Santander Puerto Rico
Clearing House Interbank Payment System
Discover Financial Services
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Sales & Marketing Executives Association
US Federal Reserve
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