The Latin America payments landscape is very different from the US market. There are 19 countries and each country has a different variations. Only 30% of consumers across the region have credit cards that is because of high credit standards of banks. International credit cards like Visa, Mastercard and American Express that are enabled for international payments only account for 22% of commerce transactions. While domestic only credit cards account for 42% of credit card purchases. Cash payment methods make up about 30% with the remaining bank drafts and debit cards which have not been enabled to make purchases online. Latin America is about a 60 billion e-commerce market. However, 80% of the market is made using local payments only. So if your a foreign payment processor with a cross-bordcr solution, then you will not be able to penetrate the market effectively. Foreign players that want to enter the market must be able to figure out a local payment strategy to succeed.
In Latin America, approximately 50% of smartphones users have credit cards which leaves a large number of consumers without the form of making digital payments. According to Forrester, the eCommerce in Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina will continue to grow at a rate of 20% until 2019. Credit and debit cards are the most convenient payment method for eCommerce. Most debit cards are not allowed either to process online transactions or to process foreign currencies.
Cash has a big presence in Latin American e-commerce, with some countries cash makes up to 40% of e-commerce transactions.
In Colombia, 27% of online purchases are made with credit cards and has a internet penetration rate of 52%. Argentina has 60% internet penetration rate but only a 30% smartphone penetration.
Eighth biggest economy in the world, Brazil is the most relevant and mature e-Commerce market in Latin America with a 40% share. In Brazil, payment methods like mobile carrier billing, eWallets and prepaid cards are popular.53% of Brazil’s population has internet access with 1/3 have access to a smartphone.
In Mexico, payment service providers (PSPs) reported that cash payments grew between 40% in 2016, compared to a 30% growth for credit card payments. Credit card penetration in Mexico is low with 28% of online purchases are made with credit cards, though popular digital payment methods include prepaid cash cards and bank transfers.
Here are some of the payment providers in Latin America:
Oxxo is Mexico’s leading cash commerce payment solution launched OXXO PAY last year, the e-commerce solution that allows retailers to receive cash payments in stores with real-time notifications. The problem is that only 18% of Mexican adults have a credit card and 61% do not have a bank account. As a result, its difficult to make digital purchases. OXXO Pay solves that problem. Buyers enjoy the benefits of making digital payments using a 14-digit number reference that you give to the cashier to make your payment in cash at any OXXO’s 15,500 stores. Retailers are know able to access the large number of unbanked consumers that want to purchase purchases online. Oxxo processes about 20% of e-commerce transactions in Mexico and the number is expected to grow.
MercadoPago is the largest payment facilitator in Latin America. MercadoPago has been operating for 10 years and it’s part of MercadoLibre. Consumers can shop on websites and MercadoLibre then pay with cash in the country’s banks and convenience stores, you can also use local credit and debit cards. The company claims it has 90 million buyers, 150,000 online businesses using Mercado Pago, and you can make break up payments overtime with many credit card issuers. In Mexico and Argentina, you can use a rechargeable card to make purchases online.
Allpago is another payment provider in LATAM region. Allpago was founded in 2010 with regional offices in São Paulo, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and Bogotá, and expanding to Chile and Peru. Allpago gives you access to credit cards, Boleto Bancário and PayPal. Allpago provides merchants with the most relevant payment methods and is a last mile payment interface by big merchants such as Art.com, Getty Images, and McAfee.
PayU Latam allows merchants to accept local payments in seven Latin American countries. More than 200,000 online businesses and 10 million consumers use PayU. The company offers you local processing of credit and debit cards with the best approval rate. It also processes cash payments and bank transfers) all with a single integration. Some of their clients include Sony, Groupon, Amway and Booking.com.
Rapipago is an Argentinian offline payment method used for online purchases. Rapipago supports payments between 1200+ companies and their consumers—around 19 million transactions per month. Rapipago’s card, check, and cash-based transactions collect money on behalf of merchants and utility company.
Redpagos, the largest payment option in Uruguay for cash payments which is present in hundreds of points of sale all over the country, merchants can also reach the unbanked population.
AstroPay is payment solution in LATAM. Secure, reliable and instant confirmation. Covers 11 countries with 530 million potential online customers. AstroPay has a prepaid solution and a direct payment solution at merchant checkout. Some of there customers include GoDaddy and Disney.
BoaCompra has expanded its operations from Brazil to nine other countries in different continents. Bringing more than 150 different local payments and working with more than 300 partners, BoaCompra allows merchants to connect their digital business with more than 350 million potential online customers.
Efecty is a Colombian based payment solutions and collections services for merchants. Efecty specializes in processing GIRO payments between banks and has more than 6,000 service points to collect offline payments for merchants. Efecty also allows merchants to offer their products and services online to users even if they do not have a credit card.
Via Baloto is a cash payment option in Colombia. A large part of the population does not have a credit card or even a bank account use Baloto. This option allows the customers to receive a voucher at the check-out that can be paid in any of the numerous points of the Via Baloto network in cash.
PagoFacil is a payment solutions provider headquartered in Mexico. PagoFacil enables merchants to offer both online and offline payment options for their users. Merchants can collect payments online through credit cards, virtual POS terminal and email. PagoFacil also allows merchants to accept payments through 24,000 convenience stores, supermarkets and pharmacies belonging to the EasyPay network.
Pagseguro is a Brazilian online payment company used by more than 500,000 sellers and over 40 million buyers.
SafetyPay is is a real-time global payment solution and accepted by thousands of merchants in dozens of countries around the world. Over 300 million people can use SafetyPay to shop online. They are in 5 countries in LATAM.
Banks have failed at banking the middle and lower-middle classes or delivering new ways to pay. Thus new payment innovation will drive Latin America into a more digital future. About half of Latin America is unbanked that means more country specific solutions are needed. Fintech is one area that we will see a lot of advancement to answer these problems and possibly leapfrogging current technology. Latin America mobile penetration is about 70% which makes the region very attractive for fintech companies. Online payments, branchless banking, and contactless payments are areas in which fintech is thriving.
A challenge commerce companies face are credit card holders. A portion of credit card holders are still afraid to use their card online. This becomes the job of payment providers to do a better job of convincing consumers that payment systems are secure. Consumer expectation is that consumers want to pay by installments. Payment providers realized that consumers wanted a way to buy in installments. Since then they have integrated this feature. Enabling consumers to purchase expensive products for the first time. In Brazil, 60% of e-commerce purchases are made using installments and in Argentina about 70%. Installments is must offer for merchants.
As the adoption of smartphones continue to increase throughout Latin America, the use of mobile payments will continue to rise. There is still no clear winner in the payment space because each country has different payment needs. An all encompassing payment strategy is needed to meets the needs of consumers. Cross-border payment providers will have a much more difficult time to penetrate the LATAM markets. While local players will have the advantage and will be able to provide solutions much faster.