Two in three Brazilians use smartphones, and the most common uses of mobile internet are for mobile messengers, watching videos on mobile and online gaming, as in other regional markets. The one area in which the usage of mobile internet is greater in Brazil than in its regional peers is mobile banking, with 61% of Brazilians using internet on their phones for mobile banking.
The country also shows promising signs when it comes to digital payments and mobile wallets. Almost 60% of Brazilian adults have made or received digital payments, and more than 10% have used the internet to pay bills in the past year, or to purchase something online. What is exciting is that 70% of the millennials in Brazil have done so, clearly driving digital adoption more so than any other demographic.
An increasing number of Brazilians are also using their mobile phones to make purchases, indicating a healthy uptake of e-commerce. In fact, the e-commerce market in Brazil is expected to be worth US$38.5bn by 2022, registering 39% growth between 2018 and 2022. What is even more interesting is that, 78% of shoppers in the country prefer shopping through mobile apps over mobile browsers on their mobile phones, indicating that transactional mobile apps are must for any seller of products or services! Although the e-payments landscape is looking promising, there hasn’t been a strong response from investors largely because regulators have been trying to implement new technologies on legacy infrastructure.
Brazil is nevertheless going to be a critical market for digital economy participants including telcos, apps, payments providers and OTT providers given the digital patterns on evidence. And I am confident that with the government’s Digital Transformation strategy, launched in March last year, will help harmonise various government initiatives related to digitalisation, taking advantage of the potential of digital technologies to transform Brazil’s socio-economic landscape, with a focus on innovation, competitiveness and productivity.
This excerpt on Brazil is drawn from our latest research titled, “Exploring the Digital Ecosystem in Latin America. The report is available for download here