Payments through near field communication technology (NFC) are seeing a steady increase in Brazil, with 285% growth in November 2020 in relation to the same month last year, according to research.
The study published by Rede, the payments arm of Brazilian bank Itaú Unibanco, also noted that transactions using NFC through channels such as e-wallets, smartwatches and cards equipped with the technology have seen a steady monthly increase of about 20% since May 2020.
The Covid-19 pandemic is the main driver behind the increase in popularity of NFC payments, with consumers and retailers prioritizing the method over direct contact with payment terminals or other point of sale devices in stores.
According to the study, another payment method that has become increasingly popular during the pandemic is the "payment link", which enables businesses to send a link to consumers through e-mail, SMS, social networks or WhatsApp so they can pay remotely for goods and services.
Driven by the increase in online sales during the Covid-19 crisis, Rede reported an increase of 33% in transactions performed via payment links between the months of October and November 2020.
The pandemic has prompted an increase in contactless payments in Brazil, though a separate study by Visa suggested the method has yet to take off. According to the research released in October, contactless payments made through cards, smartwatches and other mobile devices accounted for about 3% of all payments processed by the company between January and June 2020, compared to 1% in the same period last year.
According to the Visa study, Brazilians tend to use contactless mostly with credit cards, which account for 65% of all transactions carried out through that method.