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Payments News

“In Latin America, cash is king”, how many times have you ever heard someone saying this? It’s been a while since the region is well-known for being cash-based; but in recent years, Latin America has in fact started to go through a digital transformation.

With disruption taking the region by storm, hence the entry and rise of several players linked to the digital economy – read: Uber, Rappi, and Nubank for instance – a particular segment has been gaining ground like no other in Latin America: mobile payments. And it’s not by chance: with a population each day more connected and with more access to mobile solutions (keep in mind that its first economy, Brazil, is the fifth-largest internet and smartphone economy in the world, with 236 million mobile subscriptions), the digital payment behavior, like carrying out online payments, comes as a natural response from consumers eager to have technology as their main ally to solve everyday problems.

Brazil payment methods: opening room for opportunities

A sector that has been attracting an increasing number of both users and investors, fintechs and digital banks are the ones driving the changes regarding financial inclusion and behavioral shift when it comes to Brazil’s online payment methods. So if you think that cash is still the indisputable king in Brazil payment methods, that’s no longer the case: although it isn’t the most used method in the country, digital and mobile payments already have the highest growth rates, while the use of money is decreasing day by day.

Mobile payment systems: the sweetheart of Brazil e-commerce

“Economic potential is in Brazilian smartphone-wielding consumers”. This sentence features one of the chapters of Beyond Borders Research 2018-2019 – The Cross-Border Consumption in Brazil, held by EBANX. While e-commerce should grow, on average, 17% within 3 years, according to Americas Market Intelligence – if we look at the mobile commerce data, we realize that is, in fact, smartphones that are driving this growth.

The results of the first 11 days of November–the period that included Singles Day, celebrated on 11/11, and the warming up of Black Friday–prove the smartphone’s leading role in Brazilian e-commerce. Ebit/Nielsen data show that 52.8% of orders were placed via mobile, 58% higher than in the same period of 2018.

While smartphones are taking the lead when it comes to e-commerce in Latin America and especially in Brazil – they are also changing the behavior of millions of consumers seeking to pay in an easier and seamless way. And this combination of mobile commerce and mobile payments are catching the eyes of some smart players.

Whether by launching their own digital wallets or services like a bank account, debit cards or credit cards; companies that aren’t born digital banks or fintechs are also targeting the digital payments sector, in order to gain relevance among Latin American consumers and enjoy the opportunities that are growing with the market’s good moment. The e-commerce platform B2W, for example, a big Brazilian retailer and behind popular companies in the country like Lojas and Submarino, has also its digital wallet project, called Ame. The Colombian unicorn Rappi, on the other hand, has already launched its own debit card in Mexico and a pre-paid card in Brazil, efforts that are part of the startup’s strategy to become the first real superapp in Latin America.

 LABS: the payments news that you can’t miss

If you want to keep a closer look at this landscape (and you probably should!) and be up to date with the payments news and moves of the players that are transforming not only Brazil, but Latin America as a whole, this is the place.

In this section, you will be able to get news and updates on only what matters about digital and online payments and all the transformation coming along with it. Fintechs and digital banks like Nubank, C6 Bank, Banco Inter, as well as other players from different sectors – whether e-commerce business or big techs – such as Mercado Libre, Magazine Luiza, and Google – are aiming at payments solutions in Latin America, surfing a wave that doesn’t seem to be ending so soon. Stay tuned to our news and learn why selling online and digital opportunities have never had such a great moment in the region like now.