Ecuador Lagging Behind in Digital-Payment Transition
Ecuador had an estimated population of 17,643,054 as of the middle of 2020, according to UN data. Based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest UN data, Ecuador had a population of 17,814,574 as of February 22, 2021, with 63.0% living in urban areas, mainly Ecuador City. The median age of the population is 27.9 years. Ecuador had approximately 10.17 million active internet users as of January 2021, according to Statista.
The relatively low levels of banking, internet, and smartphone penetration mean Ecuador faces many challenges to establishing an e-commerce market. According to JPMorgan, e-commerce is just a tiny slice of the country's overall retail market. The average annual revenue per paying user in Ecuador amounted to $340.1 in 2020. Meanwhile, the total transaction value is $1.71 billion Most cross-border e-commerce purchases by Mexican shoppers are of products from China, the United States, and Japan.
In 2019, Most Mexican shoppers prefer to pay with cards, followed by e-wallets, and cash. For cashless payments, the three big players are Visa and Mastercard, aside from local cards.
According to IMF data, Ecuador had a gross domestic product of $107.44 billion in 2019, which declined to $93.08 billion in 2020 due to the pandemic. As the economy continues to recover, Ecuador's GDP is expected to expand to about $99.25 billion in 2021.
Internet & mobile phone trends
As of 2019, 27.3% of internet users in the country were aged 25-34 years. According to Datareportal, there were 10.17 million internet users in January 2021, which had increased by about 147,000 (+1.5%) from 2019, with an internet penetration rate of 57.3% in January 2021. Meanwhile, 77.8% of the population had smartphones in 2021, according to Statista.
According to Statista in 2017, as its most recent data, approximately 51% of the population owned an account at a bank or other financial institution, up from 37% in 2011.