Digital payments triumph in Uruguay thanks to tax incentives!

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It has been almost four years since Uruguay stepped forward and decided to follow the growing trend that is spreading to stay in the world: digital payments. In 2014, the Uruguayan government launched the Financial Inclusion Law to encourage digital payments, and the results are tremendously positive thanks to tax incentives!


How have digital payments benefited Uruguayans?

This Financial Inclusion Law presents a series of tax incentives that can be enjoyed by Uruguayans who join this change. The most outstanding derived benefits are the following:

  • The contribution to labour formalisation and the worker’s right to choose where and how to receive his or her salary, either with a bank or a money transfer company.
  • Reduction of VAT when accessed from electronic methods of payment: VAT decreased from 22% to 18% for purchases made with digital payments (through debit cards or any other form of electronic payment).
  • Improving the country’s security: The use of cash was banned in the case of service stations during the night to prevent robberies with violence.
  • Increased equity in free and equal access to the financial system thanks to this digitization: It should be noted that the Uruguayan government has given economic aid to small businesses to rent services that allow them to pay with cards in their establishments.
  • Promoting transparency: The country has limited the use of cash for payments of more than 5,000 pesos.


[mkd_blockquote text=”“Applying all these initiatives we can go where the future is going towards digital payments”, said María Esther León, director of National Treasury Expenditures of the Dominican Republic, recently at the forum of the Global Alliance Better than Cash.” title_tag=”h2″ width=””]


Very positive results

In just three years, from 2014 to 2017, the figures indicate a rapid increase in the use of digital payments for tax incentives. More and more Uruguayans are pointing to this progress and the data confirms that 30% of the Uruguayan adult population accessed a bank account or banking instrument, meaning that a third of the payments made in the entire Uruguayan economy are made through electronic devices! 

But it doesn’t end there, in Uruguay the number of debit card transactions has multiplied by 7 from 2 to 14 million. In addition, the number of payment points doubled, reaching 60,000.




[mkd_blockquote text=”“This is one more indicator of how society embraced the financial inclusion strategy as positive because it entails efficiency, security, transparency and less cost”, said Mario Bergara, president of the Central Bank of Uruguay, at the Economic Forum of the Christian Association of Business Leaders (ACDE).” title_tag=”h2″ width=””]


Advantages of digital payments according to the World Bank

  • Senders and receivers enjoy greater speed, ease and convenience in doing their transactions digitally.
  • Digital payments reduce the costs of operations because they are more efficient and as a result there is more revenue to invest in other issues.
  • The extension of digital payments in a country fosters inclusive growth with more and more inhabitants having access to financial tools that are more affordable.
  • The creation of digital payment systems in remittances instead of actual payments is of great benefit to poor people in emerging markets. In this way, such measures contribute to the financial development of these countries.
  • They increase transparency and security with greater traceability while reducing fraud or theft.
  • It contributes to the financial inclusion of women all over the world, giving them greater freedom and independence by not having the restrictions that the use of cash sometimes entails in certain scenarios. Digital payment tools make them first-person participants in the management of their domestic economy.




As you can see, digital payments have a lot to contribute to everyone’s economy! 💳👍



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