As the number of payment terminals in physical stores, apps, and shopping methods grows, the total number of electronic transactions also increases at an exponential rate: last year in Chile there was a 47% increase in the flow of digital sales, according to figures from Transbank. However, this digitization could increase the gap between businesses that integrate innovations and those that do not, becoming another obstacle when it comes to competing.
It was with this difficulty in mind that Apipay, a payment methods orchestrator that facilitates the integration of new transaction methods for businesses, was founded in 2016. Its founder, Ariel Gahona, explains that “at that time there was a considerable increase of digital payments in the industry, such as credit card, debit, wallets, surplus and different emerging innovations. The problem for merchants was that to make these payment options available to customers in an omnichannel way, which also required development teams, infrastructure, integration specialists, and payment methods implied a high operational cost for companies.”
The platform was developed as a 100% cloud-based orchestrator, which allows any business, through a simple API, to connect to all the payment methods available in the country without the need for technical equipment or hardware to perform reconciliations.
According to Gahona, the fact that Apipay does not charge percentages per transaction, allowing merchants to maintain their contracts with the payment methods to maintain the benefits of the brands, negotiate their conditions and concentrate the reconciliation on a single platform, is what has facilitated its rapid expansion. In fact, the startup is already present in more than 5 thousand points of sale in the country.
The fintech executive pointed out that “merchants can switch to different payment options according to the best offer and commission, but they require hard work to switch to another system and it is not easy from a technological point of view. Our model serves so that there is flexibility when it comes to whether you want to choose one system or another because we connect through payment terminals, web platforms, transfer or direct debit, wallet, and other financial institutions.”
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Apipay’s leap into Latin America
The success achieved in the short three years of operations allowed Apipay this 2022 to enter the market in Peru, where they already work as a payment orchestrator with important brands such as Lippi, North Face, Columbia, Marmot, Banana Republic, Surprice, GAP, among others.
“In Chile, our challenge is to grow even more, but we understand that in Latin America there is an even greater need for digitalization in commerce and the adoption of electronic payments. In that sense, we believed that Peru was an ideal market, and in 2023 we hope to reach Colombia as well,” emphasized Apipay’s CEO.
The entrepreneur is also the founder of the startup I-Tam, one of the pioneering tools in Latin America that allows automating the reconciliation of payments in stores. And it is not random, since with both he seeks to offer a complete solution for businesses: the operational part of the transactions with Apipay, and the financial control of the income of a business with I-Tam.
According to Gahona, the complementation between payment orchestrator and conciliator will allow the entry of emerging payment technologies to traditional commerce, such as digital currencies.
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First published in DIARIOESTRATEGIA, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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