Brazilian Payment Methods

brazilian payment methods: you can pay with debit card, credit card, pix and even installment payments in brazil

Hey guys, how are you? Did you know that in Brazil we have many different payment methods? Besides the normal credit/debit cards and cash options, we have payment slips (or, boleto) that are really useful for utility bills. Our newest method in Brazil is the PIX, which is perfect for quick and free money transfers! Did you also know installment payments in Brazil are very common?

Today’s Dica is extremely useful if you are planning to visit or live in Brazil! We will show you all the different Brazilian Payment Methods a person can use, and which ones are safer and used more often. Just to let you know, we also have other Dicas where you can learn all about shopping phraseshow to ask for the bill as well as purchases in cash and installments. Today we’ll learn about how to pay:

Money/Cash (Dinheiro)

Paying in cash is one of the most common payment methods in Brazil. From street sellers to fancy restaurants,  cash is the most accepted and typical payment method. There are certain situations in which you can receive your salary in cash, despite the majority of Brazilians being owners of a bank account. If you intend to use cash don’t forget to check our safety tips.

Debit/Credit Card (Cartão de Débito/Crédito)

Paying with credit/debit cards is the second-most used payment method in Brazil, right after cash. Bars, restaurants, some street vendors, and basically all places in big cities will accept payments by credit/debit cards in Brazil. Credit cards are often used for installment payments where you buy an expensive object and pay in smaller portions. Below is a list of accepted Brazilian card companies as well as international card companies:

  • American Express
  • Aura
  • Cabal
  • Cartão BNDES
  • Diners Club
  • Discover
  • Elo
  • Hiper
  • Hipercard
  • Mais!
  • MasterCard
  • Sicredi
  • Sorocred
  • UnionPay
  • Visa

Remember, if you are using an intentional card, and the vendor asks you “debit or credit?”,  the best option is to say credit as often debit won’t work!

Check (Cheque)

Practically non-existent in many countries, paying with checks is still a valid payment method used in Brazil, but that is slowly becoming obsolete. Checks do not provide any safety or security between the customer and the store. It is for this same reason that the Conselho Monetário Nacional has suggested and promoted eliminating the acceptance of check payments in the hopes of avoiding frauds related to these types of payments.

Payment Slip (Boleto Bancário)

example of boleto in Brazil
This is an example of boleto from a Electricity Bill

Boleto Bancário is are a type of payment slip in Brazil, or money orders, often used for utility bills, but can also be issued for payments of online purchases. You can have it mailed to your house or print it from the respective website and/or institution. This paper consists of information of the establishment the payment is being made to, along with an expiry date, the value to be paid, and a barcode. This type of payment method is regulated and controlled by Bacen (Banco Central).

In order to pay a boleto bancário you just have to type the barcode number or use a barcode reader. ATMs in Brasil have barcode readers. Alternatively, you can also head to your local Lottery (Loteria) House or any bank to make the payment in person.

Carnê

Carnê is a type of installment payment in Brazil that is often used for expensive purchases like a car or a house. Whenever you make such a purchase you receive a book that includes a series of boletos that must be paid each month. Once you pay the whole carnê, we say it has been quitado (fully paid).

Online Payments (Pagamento Online)

Brasil is the country with the most developed e-commerce in Latin America. In order to make online purchases, you can use two main payment methods: credit card or boleto bancário. Depending on the website, don’t forget to verify whether or not you need a CPF number to complete your payment.

PIX (Latest Brazilian Payment Method)

The newest payment system in Brazil is PIX! It was created by the Brazilian Central Bank in 2020 to allow faster and cheaper transactions. You can use PIX as payment in Brazil for something bought at an establishment, or to transfer money to other people. The main advantages of using PIX is the instant and completely free of charge transfer.

In order to use it, you need to register your Brazilian bank account. After registration, you will have a PIX key, which can be any combination of numbers, but the most common ones are your CPF or telephone number.

But how exactly can you use it? To pay something at a physical establishment, you can just scan the QR Code (if available) and the payment goes straight to them. To transfer money to other accounts, you just need the PIX Key of the other person! You won’t need to know their bank details anymore, just their key number, easy right?

Today we’ve learned the different Brazilian Payment Methods. Which ones have you used before? Would you pick a boleto to pay for something, or would you prefer to use a debit card in Brazil? Are those methods very different to what you use in your country? What do you think about the PIX payment in Brazil? Does some kind of PIX-like method exist in your country?

See you in the next Dica do Dia!

Bye!

Click on the links below to see more related Dicas
Shopping in Portuguese
Asking for the Bill in Portuguese
Restaurants in Brazil

This post is also available in: English Português (Portuguese) Español (Spanish)

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