Em Conversa looks to uncover the secrets in Latin America (LatAm) that have caused the fintech market to boom, from being worth less than $50million in 2016, to $2.1billion in 2022. Alejandro Del Rio, regional director for LatAm at Paymentology sat down with The Fintech Times to discuss the growing payment trends emerging in the region.
With over 20 years of proven experience in payments and financial technologies, Del Rio joined Paymentology, the global issuer-processor. Now heading LatAm as regional director, we learn about the latest paytech trends taking place.
Can you tell me more about the company and your role within it?
Paymentology is a global issuer-processor. We essentially give banks, fintechs and telcos the technology, team, and experience to easily issue and process any type of physical or virtual card. This could be a debit, prepaid, credit, BNPL, or revolving card, just to name a few. We provide this anywhere in the world, rapidly and at scale. We have payments experts that bring deep, local market knowledge on the ground in 60 countries across 14 time zones.
As the regional director for Latin America, I act as the strategic point of contact for Paymentology’s clients and partners. All the while I lead our growth team and expansion in the region.
What are some paytech trends we’re seeing in LatAm?
Like a lot of places across the globe, we’re seeing a growing trend in credit usage in Latam. More people are relying on financial institutions for loans and other forms of credit. Additionally, revolving credit, which allows consumers to access a set amount of credit that can be repaid and used again, has been gaining popularity in the region.
Another trend that has been on the rise is BNPL (buy now, pay later) schemes, and instalments have also been a popular option. Especially for those looking to make larger purchases while spreading out the payments.
In contrast, prepaid options have been growing rapidly, with more consumers opting for prepaid cards and accounts as a way to manage their finances. Finally, BIN sponsor opportunities, where banks or financial institutions sponsor the use of certain debit or credit card networks, have also been on the rise in the region.
What is Paymentology doing to improve the paytech sector in LatAm?
At Paymentology, we’re deeply committed to increasing financial inclusion in LatAm and the wider world. We want to make a positive impact in the communities in which we operate. Part of supporting the advancement of digital transformation in the region, is for us to help our clients help address the shortcomings of the conventional banking system.
We do this via our cloud-based digital payment platform which enables our clients to deliver seamless payment experiences to their customers. Additionally, they achieve faster transaction processing, advanced security measures, and enhanced data analytics.
For example, we’re incredibly proud to have recently empowered clients like Fondeadora and DolarApp to become pioneers in bringing Apple Pay to digital banking customers in Mexico. This marks a significant advancement in making payment solutions more accessible to the region and allowing people to make purchases using Apple Pay at any global location that accepts it.
How does the LatAm paytech sector compare to the rest of the world?
In recent years, the LatAm paytech sector has experienced a significant surge in growth and transformation. We’re seeing many innovative solutions emerging to address the unique challenges and opportunities of the region that are helping people better manage their money. However, compared to more established regions like UK, Europe and North America, the LatAm paytech sector is still relatively nascent. Nonetheless, it is catching up quickly.
The digital economy is flourishing post-COVID-19. With it has come newfound consumer demands around digital ways to pay. Particularly in markets where traditional banking services are not easily accessible or affordable.
Another factor contributing to the growth of the LatAm paytech sector is the rise of fintech startups and digital banks, like some of our clients. These are disrupting the traditional financial services landscape and offering new and innovative payment solutions to consumers and businesses.
What are some unique challenges associated with the region in the paytech space?
The LatAm paytech sector faces unique challenges, such as limited access to capital, regulatory hurdles – like the rest of the world – and a fragmented market with varying levels of technological adoption across different countries and regions.
Nonetheless, the potential for growth remains high, and we are well placed to help our clients and prospects negate these challenges, and help the region become the major player in the global paytech landscape that it has the appetite and potential to be. Together, with our clients and partners, we’re excited to lead the charge of the rapidly transforming financial services industry in LatAm.
Plans for the future (roadmap and growth plan)
LatAm represents a priority market for us. Especially since we have clients who live in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Panama, El Salvador, and we plan to expand to nations like Chile and Argentina. LatAm was our biggest market for growth last year and we want to continue supporting our fintech and neobank clients in the region. Alongside strengthening our work team in Southern Cone countries, this allows us to understand local contexts and offer better solutions according to the needs of the ecosystem.
We will also focus on promoting the use of digital wallet solutions such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, to help streamline the payment process for our customers. Overall, our commitment is to expand our reach and strengthen our position in LatAm.