A guide to Peru’s preferred e-commerce payment methods

Everything you need to know about Peruvian e-commerce and payment preferences

Countries Peru

Peru: an e-commerce & payments primer

Peru’s short-term growth prospects are good. In the medium-to-long term, there is every reason to expect the government projects to improve digital and financial inclusion to bear fruit. Any company entering the market must have a strategy for overcoming the challenges presented by geographical and social variations in connectivity and to have a local-payments strategy. 

Peruvians prefer to pay for online purchases with cards, which are used in 51% of all online transactions [1]. 11% of purchases are paid for by bank transfer, 12% by cash and 13% with wallets [1]. Visa is the most popular card brand, with 52% of the card market. Mastercard has 33%, American Express 1% [1]. 14% of online card payments are made with localized credit cards issued by the global brands Visa, Mastercard and American Express but restricted to domestic use.

Those localized versions of international credit card schemes are characteristic for the LatAm countries Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.  Those local cards are limited in use, as they are restricted to local purchases and cannot be used cross-border. Even if those cards are issued by international brands and may seem like standard credit cards, they can only be used in the country in which they are issued and can only be used to make payments in that country’s currency.

The IMF expects Peru’s economy to grow at a rate of 3% in 2022 and to carry on expanding at a steady rate of 3% a year thereafter, to well beyond 2025 [2]. In the summer of 2022, inflation hit a 25-year high [3]. Unemployment is around 9%, down from a recent high of 14% in 2021 [2]. 

Peru, like its neighbour Chile, sits on top of a foundation less of bedrock and more of copper. This relatively small country is home to 10% of the world’s known copper reserves [4].  Copper, we are now being told, is “the new oil”, with the Bank of America speculating it may double in price over the next five to ten years [5]. At the time of writing, the price of copper on the commodity markets was rising, buoyed by strong Chinese manufacturing demand [6]. 

The e-commerce market

Peru’s e-commerce market is worth $9.3 billion a year and is growing and expected to grow at an average annual rate of almost 25% over the next five years [1]. Just 6% of all retail sales are completed online [1]. During lockdown the proportion of Internet users who said they had shopped online rose from 31% to 54% [7]. Even when lockdown had ended, this figure only fell to 51% [7], suggesting a new normal in which the majority of Peruvians who have an Internet connection use it for e-commerce. 

38% of all online purchases were completed on a mobile device [1]. According to market intelligence by the US International Trade Administration, there are over 31 million smartphones in Peru, of which 77% are connected to the Internet [8].

E-commerce success factors (and challenges) in Peru

Peru lags behind its neighbours in financial inclusion. Only 46% of the population has a bank account and 13% a credit card [1]. As with other Latin American markets, the Peruvian government has made financial inclusion a priority in recent years. According to a plan announced in August 2020, the publicly owned Banco Nación has been opening bank accounts for unbanked citizens and depositing accountholders’ welfare benefits into these accounts [9].

Peru has an Internet penetration rate of just 63% [1]. 73% of Peruvians have an Internet-capable smartphone [1]. In February 2021, the Peruvian government issued an emergency decree, backed by an investment of US$40 million, ordering the creation of digital centres and the use of satellite and wireless technologies to bring the Internet to 3.2 million underserved rural dwellers [10].

Peru is 83rd on the World Bank’s Global Logistical Performance Index. In its advice to US e-commerce exporters, the state department lists logistics and delivery as one of the challenges to doing business in Peru [11].

  1. Original PPRO research
  2. https://www.imf.org/en/Countries/PER
  3. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-07-07/peru-to-hike-rate-as-inflation-hits-25-year-high-decision-guide
  4. https://www.statista.com/statistics/605580/distribution-of-global-copper-reserves-by-select-country
  5. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/06/copper-is-the-new-oil-and-could-hit-20000-per-ton-analysts-say.html
  6. https://www.mining.com/copper-price-rises-on-china-demand-optimism
  7. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1191649/peru-online-shopping-ordering-channels-usage-type
  8. https://www.trade.gov/market-intelligence/peru-ecommerce
  9. https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/peru-forces-bank-accounts-onto-millions-a-potential-financial-inclusion-boon-60231754
  10. https://www.bnamericas.com/en/news/peru-embarks-on-new-rural-connectivity-push
  11. https://lpi.worldbank.org/international/global

Page index

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Quick facts

Between 2016 and 2021, the volume of e-commerce purchases Peruvians made from merchants based outside the country grew by 23%.

In 2021, Peru began the process of implementing the UN International eTrade Readiness Assessment, designed to give businesses and consumers everything they need to get online.

Between 2021 and 2022, Peruvian retail sales grew at a rate of 11% [3] and Peruvian e-commerce sales at a rate of 31%.

Between 2021 and 2025, the value of mobile commerce in Peru is predicted to more than double to a value of US$13 billion.

Between 2022 and 2027, the value of digital payments in Peru is predicted to almost double from US$10 billion to US$19.7 billion.

General Information

  • Population 34.2 m
  • Population 15 + 25.9 m
  • Online population 21.6 m
  • Area 1,285,216 km2
  • Currency PEN
  • GDP 225.9 bn $US
  • GDP per capita 6,610 $US

Payment types

  • Card-based payments
  • Cash-based payments
  • Bank transfer
  • Wallets
  • Other
[{"label":"Card-based payments","value":"51"},{"label":"Cash-based payments","value":"12"},{"label":"Bank transfer","value":"11"},{"label":"Wallets","value":"13"},{"label":"Other","value":"12"}]

Banked population
  • Peru 46%
  • South & Central America 58%
  • World 67%
Credit card penetration
  • Peru 13%
  • South & Central America 20%
  • World 19%
Internet penetration
  • Peru 63%
  • South & Central America 73%
  • World 62%
Smartphone penetration
  • Peru 73%
  • South & Central America 64%
  • World 70%

The E-Commerce Market

Top e-commerce segments

  1. Furniture & Appliances: 23%
  2. Toys, Hobby & DIY : 21%
  3. Electronics & Media: 19%
  4. Food & Personal Care: 19%

Cross-border e-commerce

  1. Cross-border proportion of total e-commerce – 14%
  2. Value of cross-border e-commerce – 1.3 bn $US
  3. Online shoppers who have shopped cross-border – 71%
B2C e-commerce growth 20->21
  • Peru 70.9%
E-commerce % of total retail
  • Peru 6%
  • South & Central America 11%
  • World 20%
E-commerce completed on a mobile device
  • Peru 38%
  • South & Central America 44%
  • World 53%

E-Commerce Trends

  • E-commerce market size 9.3 bn $US
  • E-commerce spending per capita 281 $US
  • E-commerce spending as % of GDP 4.5%

The Credit Card Split

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
[{"label":"Visa","value":"74"},{"label":"Mastercard","value":"24"},{"label":"American Express","value":"1"}]

The information on our Insights pages has been compiled by us in cooperation with Datamatics and Wright & Brown. The data shown is partially owned by us and partially owned by GlobalData. © 2021 by PPRO Financial Ltd. No data and information can be used for any further publication without the explicit approval of PPRO.

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