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Brazilian Card Brand Elo Expands its Market Share

Published on 11/17/2016 - Updated on 09/11/2019

The Brazilian card brand Elo, created in 2011 as a joint venture by the three leading Brazilian banks, Banco do Brasil, Bradesco and Caixa Econômica Federal continues its market expansion. According to research by consultancy firm Boanerges & Cia, the Brazilian brand is especially popular for debit payments. Today 17.9% of all active debit cards are Elo branded, representing 13.5% of debit card transactions.

Visa and MasterCard still dominate the card market. In 2011, after the acquiring market ceased to be exclusive, with Visanet (now Cielo) processing only Visa and Redecard (now Rede) only MasterCard, both brands combined had a market share of 97.2%. However, they now account for 80% of all active debit cards and for the first time ever they were responsible for less than 85% of debit transactions (84.7%).

Regarding the credit card market, Visa and MasterCard’s dominance is more evident, concentrating 89.1% of all active credit cards and 91.3% of the transactions. Elo comes third, with 7% of the active cards, followed by Amex, with 2.6%.

Elo struggled for a while in the credit card market due to the fact it could only be accepted in Brazil, however, since July 2016 the brand is also accepted internationally. Thanks to a partnership with the card brand Discover, Elo cardholders can use their cards in 39 million establishments in 185 countries. In addition, they can also withdraw cash from around 1.8 million ATMs worldwide. As a result of international acceptance, Elo expects to elevate its market share to 15%.

According to Boanerges & Cia, one of the main challenges Elo still faces is the number of transactions done with the card. Their research indicates that in both debit and credit modalities, Elo cards are less used than other brands, having an average of 8.8 transactions per credit card and 13.6 per debit card. Visa, on the other hand, has an average of 18.9 and 19.5 transactions per credit and debit card respectively.