Contactless & Cashless Payments in Chile

“I grew up in this town; my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests.”

Pablo Neruda 

Welcome to the country of the poets! Chile has always been an attraction centre for those curious about literature and history. As the nation of poets, Chile did and still does honour Nobel prize winner poets like Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral, and many other extreme talents in literature like the best seller Isabel Angélica Allende Llona, in other words, Isabel Allende. It is the southernmost country in the world, which may explain the passionate soul of Chileans. 

The combination of literature and history made Chile an attraction point for many travellers before the active usage of the internet since we could not see images of Chile in detail. Now we all know the country’s incredible beauty, which was the source of inspiration for Pablo Neruda’s famous lines. Every day more and more people decide to travel to Chile to experience the country on their own rather than relying on others’ experiences. 

Walking through the streets of Valparaiso can only be compared with walking in a rainbow! With its blue eye-shaped lake on the top, Rano Raraku Volcano looks like the eye of the world looking at the endless space. And countless Moais are present at many spots in Easter Islands, from Rano Raraku to Ahu Tongariki, Ahu Nau Nau, and Ahu Akivi. A short walk in the marble caves, a trip to Chilean Fjords, and the surreal feeling of the Atacama desert would make you reconsider what is real. 

However, at this point, reality reminds us of the inevitable fact that we must be able to make payments if we want to explore all those treasures. A question mark about the preferred payment methods in Chile arises in our heads since we can not think of a vacation for free, unfortunately. 

In other words, Chile payment methods are a must to learn, especially for the ones planning to spend a certain period of time up there. Before discussing the details of these possibilities, we should talk a little about Chilean culture and everyday life so that it gives more insight into why to use a method and why not. 

First of all, Chilean society’s outgoing and welcoming nature affects its people’s approach to what is new. The internet penetration rate of Chile reaches up to 92%, which is remarkable considering the almost 19.5 million population of the country. As the leading country in Latin America in e-commerce, the recognition and acceptance of contactless transactions in Chile are incredibly high. 

What is contactless payment?

We can hear you asking what you mean by contactless transactions. What does contactless payment mean? If we talk about contactless payments, we embrace a massive area from credit and debit cards to key fobs, smart cards, and other methods, including but not limited to smartphones and other mobile devices. By using these methods, you can guarantee the security of your transactions. 

Another cashless payment method is one of the curious cases that many consumers wonder about when they see another using one easily: NFC (Near Field Payments). Near Field Communication technology is already set in your mobile phone unless you carry an archaic smartphone. , better known as NFC. In other words, NFC is a proximity-based wireless communication standard with a big difference from Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. An NFC requires a distance of approximately 10 centimetres. 

Thanks to the blessings of the latest technology, in addition to smartphones, NFC also exists on other mobile devices such as tablets, speakers, and wearables. Imagine a day of jogging and crossing with the gorgeous yellow tulip bouquet in the florist shop. How to pay for them now? Probably, as common sense, you do not have any cash with you but your smartphone or smartwatch. In these types of scenarios, connecting your device to your digital wallet can be a life saviour. NFC payments are a convenient feature that many of us take for granted daily. 

By considering the data about the payment methods in Chile in e-commerce from 2021, we see that the usage of cards, including international credit cards and domestic credit cards, is 58%. Bank transfers hold 12% of those transactions, followed by e-wallets with %10. By evaluating that information, we face an up-to-date and renovative country! Cash Chile payments hold 6% of the e-commerce payment, and other payment methods have 14% of the e-commerce payment methods. So, apparently, having a high amount of cash is not a must if you visit Chile! Good news!

During the Pandemic, a significant change occurred with the effect of the precautions taken for our health safety. Especially at the beginning of Covid-19, we isolated ourselves and refrained from touching any surfaces because of a potential virus transfer. Door handles, lift buttons, and hands of others were all considered risky, and we were reluctant to touch those surfaces since the circulation of being touched by many was incomparably high. The same applies to cash, the physical money! 

Suppose you pay 100 USD from your pocket and take 87 in change, made of rags with four twenties and some coins. Those rags have been circulating for a long time, and you may be the 50th person to touch it even on that particular day! See the risk? Therefore, our tendency to make cashless payments has increased globally. And Chile constitutes no exception to that rule! 

In addition to hygiene, carrying cash can get dangerous in locations with a crime rate. To hold an ample amount, no matter in your wallet or house, may lead to the attention of thieves and robbers. Plus, you cannot cross the border with more than $/€ 10,000 in most countries around the globe. Thus, this grave regulation may limit what you want to achieve in Chile as well as in any country. To pass the border and bring over $10,000 or equal fiat currency in Chilean Pesos, you must declare the carried foreign currency to the Central Bank of Chile. 

The usage of contactless cards in face-to-face transactions increased dramatically in Chile. Another rising payment method is NFCs. According to the latest statistics, NFC payments in Chile have risen to 34% of total revenues; on the other hand, estimated Point of Sale (POS) terminals that are contactless ready reach up to 75%. In Chile, you may use your contactless cards at restaurants, supermarkets, shops, and many other locations where you have to spend money with ease. 

So if you are a traveller but still are the old guard, you may do some grocery shopping at a local market and cook for yourself the meals you are used to at your AirBNB home or choose to eat at fast food restaurants whose flavours you are familiar with. For both, all you need is to take your plastic card or just your smartphone with you. 

You will not experience any difficulties with contactless card payments in any of those options. The same applies to your dinners at local restaurants or tour trip payments at tourism agencies. If you have a contactless card with you, you may spend your days without worrying about your potential financial transactions. 

What may be left to you will be nothing but buying a book by Pablo Neruda with your contactless card, reading the lines while experiencing the country’s unique atmosphere, and sipping your Mote Con Huesillo or Carmenère. There is always the chance to find your new favourite quote every time you start a book, especially if you are in the author’s or poet’s homeland. But until then, I’ll lend you mine. 

“There are countries; there are rivers

in your eyes,

my homeland is in your eyes,

I walk through them….”

Pablo Neruda. 

Jeton Wallet in Chile

Our avant-garde and innovative digital wallet, Jeton Wallet, has been serving Chilean consumers and those who want to explore this unique land as tourists, digital nomads or expats. Understanding life in Chile, traditions, regulations, and tendencies of consumers, we have improved our banking services in the light of years of experience.  

In our previous articles in the Jeton Blog, we mentioned how to open a bank account in Chile and if it is possible to create a bank account without holding a residence permit. Unfortunately, the Chilean banking system does not allow bank accounts until they get one. Therefore, newcomers will struggle with how to handle finances for a while. However, Jeton provides registration in a few minutes and clicks.  

As soon as you have your Jeton account online, you can start sending and receiving more than 50 fiat currencies, including Chilean Pesos and

digital currencies. We also present affordable or zero transaction fees depending on whether the transfer is between Jeton users or others. In addition, through Jeton App, you can track all your transaction history momentarily.

To learn more about our smooth Jeton Wallet services in Chile and LATAM countries, please visit 

0 CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment