The Brazilian payments unicorn EBANX, which also owns LABS, arrived in Costa Rica. Central America’s most digitalized country is only the company’s first step in the ‘neighborhood’: Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Panama will be added until the end of June. Besides the new markets in Central America, EBANX is also expanding its footprint to a new South American country: Paraguay.
By the first half of 2021, EBANX will be operating in 15 different countries in Latin America. As anticipated by LABS in October last year, the company aims to increase the number of Latin Americans with access to digital products and services. “More and more, EBANX is helping global companies to seize Latin America’s full potential,” said André Boaventura, partner and CMO at EBANX, in a statement to the press.
In 2020, buyers embraced e-commerce like never before, boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this scenario, Latin America is having its e-commerce moment. The region led the world in retail e-commerce sales growth in 2020 (36.7%), and was second in digital buyer growth (7.3%), according to the Global Ecommerce Update 2021 by Insider Intelligence and eMarketer.
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Furthermore, EBANX’s annual Beyond Borders study, released October last year, shows that the region is set to be the world’s fastest-growing market for digital commerce as a whole in 2021 (which includes not only retail sales, but also digital goods and other segments), possibly matching Southeast Asia’s pace, whereas in the past it was trailing just behind.
Why EBANX is kicking-off operations in Costa Rica
Across Central America, the conditions for making digital commerce soar are set: high internet penetration and increasingly digital behavior on the one hand; a gigantic addressable market, with the majority of the population still distant from financial digital transactions on the other.
Besides leading Central America’s e-commerce growth in the last few years, Costa Rica has over 80% of internet penetration, a higher educational attainment level, as well as a greater financial inclusion than its neighbors, according to the World Bank. Panama, in its turn, has the highest GDP per capita in Central America, and its largest e-commerce market, according to data from Visa.
EBANX started to offer its payments solutions outside Brazil in 2015, launching its operations in Mexico and Peru. To entirely cover Latin America is only a matter of time.
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Paraguay is a brand new market for global companies
According to the country’s Chamber of Electronic Commerce (Capace, in the acronym in Spanish), 93% of Paraguay’s consumers started to order products and services online in the last four years. With a high mobile penetration (97%), most of the purchases are made through their smartphones. When it comes to international digital commerce, EBANX says that debuting at Paraguay consolidates its leading role in South America.