Shopee, Sea Limited‘s e-commerce behemoth based in Singapore that already has more than 1 million local sellers in Brazil, received an authorization on Monday from Brazil‘s Central Bank to operate as a payment institution, as an electronic money issuer, according to a notice in the government’s official gazette.
SHPP Brasil Payment Institution and Payment Services Ltda, controlled by SHPP Brasil Participaçoes Ltda, will be able to “manage prepaid payment accounts, in which funds must be previously deposited,” the official gazette said. The new business unit will be headquartered in São Paulo and have an initial capital of BRL 4 million.
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Shopee has become one of the most-downloaded e-commerce apps in Brazil, drawing users to its low-cost marketplace from other local companies.
Singapore-headquartered Sea Ltd and its Sao Paulo-based company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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The authorization for Shopee to operate as a payment institution comes at an exciting moment for the payments industry in Brazil and Latin America, with the rise of real-time payments, such as Buy Now Pay Later solutions, digital wallets and PIX (Brazilian instant payment system).
Besides, Shopee’s move is coherent with what other big Latin American e-commerce players have also been doing, such as Mercado Livre and Magazine Luiza, that of adding financial solutions to their service portfolio, as a way to retain users in their ecosystem.