Pandemic intensifies flow that runs against physical money.
Following the trend of developed countries, Brazil has less and less resistance to online transactions. At first, this movement is being orchestrated by the sector of electronic commerce, or e-commerce, but it presents itself more and more in other sectors. To illustrate this point, just analyse a survey by Digital Market Outlook, published in 2018. According to the survey, the nations that obtained the most revenue, on average, per user are the following:
- United States, with US $1,952.00.
- United Kingdom, with US $1,639.00.
- Germany, with US $1,101.00.
- France, with US $1,010.00.
- China, with $634.00.
- Spain, with US$ 601.00.
- Italy, with $407.00.
- Mexico, with $134.00.
- Brazil, with US $123.00.
- Argentina, with US$ 118.00.
Noting that Brazil makes up the minority of countries on this list that are not part of the global economic elite, it is clear to see that the profile of the average local consumer is interested in technology. This theory was later confirmed by Accenture, a Dutch consulting firm.
A study of the company carried out with almost 48 thousand people in 27 countries, including Brazil, shows that local account holders are among the most open to the use of new technologies. The information indicates that, here, we are pioneers in relation to new tools for transferring money, ahead of countries such as France, Israel, and Japan.
This will often flourish in unconventional professions, which seek to circumvent bureaucratic difficulties.
From the new to the even more new
A survey by the Central Bank of Brazil showed that, from January to April 2020, more money was transferred from outside to inside Brazil than the other way around. In absolute numbers, it was US $1.06 billion in the first four months of the year, 9% more than the monthly average of 2019.
There are multiple explanations for this, and there are several changes being reflected in several Brazilian markets. Starting with entrepreneurs who, aiming to take advantage of the high dollar, sell their holdings in corporations to foreign investors. However, Google may have a significant share of influence on these numbers.
The technology colossus identified a 25% growth in AdSense payments to Brazil between March and May. These amounts are paid to content creators, whether they are from blogs, websites, or channels on YouTube, according to the revenue they generate from advertisers.
The pandemic served as a boost for this segment. After the quarantine started, 91% of Brazilian users increased their consumption time on the site, according to Talkshoppe. In addition, surpassing Facebook, Instagram, Netflix and TikTok, YouTube has established itself as the favourite platform for local consumers.
In addition, some microentrepreneurs have also contributed to this change. Services provided by freelancers to foreign companies, such as developers and programmers, have gained more space in the international market, since the Brazilian real has devalued continuously.
Space for new plans
Understanding that the market around the dollar is on the rise in Brazil, some banks began to study the possibility of creating accounts in foreign currencies for their customers. Before, this activity was exclusively for exchange offices, embassies and some other institutions.
However, these changes are still hostage to the new foreign exchange law, approved by the Chamber of Deputies and which is being voted on in the Federal Senate. In addition, the Central Bank's plan is to gradually make this segment more flexible.
Individuals and the stock market
Strengthening a phenomenon that has occurred since 2013, the pandemic has also intensified the search for individuals for short-term investments, thereby increasing the volume of international transactions here. According to data made available by B3, the official stock exchange of Brazil, 2020 registered more than 480 thousand people who tried day trades until August. Over the years, this has represented:
- 144% from 2013 to 2018.
- 108% from 2018 to 2019.
- 100.6% by August 2020.
This significant growth also symbolizes the increased interest of Brazilians in the topic. According to Google Trends, a tool that maps searches made on the platform, the term “day trader” was widely used in several states in the country.
The historic drop in the SELIC rate was also fundamental to the increase in individuals entering this market. While that figure reached 14.25% in 2016, in 2020 it reached just 2%. Thus, allied to the emergence of investment platforms, the number of individuals interested in this area has grown over the years.
It is important to visualize the potential that Brazil has in the field of online transactions, whether due to interest in investments or, simply, in purchases. In July 2014, G1 published an article entitled “67% of Brazilians do not make purchases on the internet, says research”, based on studies by the multinational Mintel.
(Globo and Istoé)
In April 2018, the scenario practically turned inside out. In another survey, this time by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), it was found that, on average, seven out of ten Brazilians buy online at least once a month. This may indicate that, following its own evolutionary line, Brazil has the potential to rise more and more in the list of countries with the most online transactions in the world.