Kushki, a unicorn payments technology company connecting Latin America through payments, has become the first next-generation merchant acquirer in the region; following primary membership with Visa and Mastercard in Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia.
The Kushki partnership with Visa and Mastercard is delivered through a standardised modern proprietary processing platform, making it one of the largest acquirers in LatAm by coverage.
Before this development, merchants and payment companies in Latin America had to depend on one or more local acquirer processors per country which usually operated as monopolies established in the 1990s with little incentive to create broader access into the ecosystem or innovate their legacy infrastructure.
This has prompted regulators across the region to work with companies like Kushki to open the market and broaden the ecosystem. Seven years since its founding, local regulators in the named countries have approved the company, making it the first non-bank entity to receive approval to operate as a merchant acquirer.
Kushki offers direct connections to primary payment networks. This means merchants and other businesses that wish to be part of the regional payment ecosystem will be able to directly link to and communicate with top payment networks and systems in Latin America without relying on additional intermediaries or third-party banking institutions.
The new model will provide benefits for both merchants and customers paying in both physical and online stores, including faster transactions, increased stability and traceability in transaction processing, and a more tailored service. Kushki, through its constant innovation, continues to provide a modern technology platform with a full understanding of the regional payment regulations that new players in the market require to succeed.
Making payment innovation more accessible
Aron Schwarzkopf, co-founder and CEO of Kushki, explained the significance of the news for the company and the region: “We started this project back in 2017 and the amount of resources and commitment driven into this massive regulatory and infrastructure project is a first for LatAm, we invite businesses to use it widely either directly or build a payment company on top of us.
“As the first regional acquirer, we will be able to make payment innovation more accessible and give stores and payment services providers more control over their transactions.”
This Kushki initiative follows its decision to launch a new business division last year named Kushki Mundial. The purpose of this was to enable global clients to access Kushki’s payment technologies in the Latin America region from anywhere in the world, connecting with local alternative payment companies and platforms.
Other significant milestones include its acquisition of the financial service company, Billpocket, in Mexico in August 2022. With the move, it hoped to combine its online expertise and regional positioning with Billpocket’s experience and know-how in card present payments.