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EBANX, the fintech unicorn seeking to expand operations in Latin America

Currently, EBANX has a presence in 15 countries in Latin America, where it will expand its business throughout the region, one of the fastest growing digital commerce markets in the world.In 2015, EBANX began offering its payment solutions outside Brazil, its country of origin. In the following years came Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia and Uruguay.



E-commerce is gaining strength in Latin America and with the pandemic, several platforms and brands have managed to stand out from the rest. It could be said that in a way e-commerce benefited from the contingency, as consumers migrated to this new ecosystem to acquire their goods and services without having to go to a physical location. EBANX pointed out that in Latin America alone the number of users grew by more than 30%, with some 52 million people online.

“The pandemic has more than doubled the estimated number of new online consumers in Latin America,” says Juliana Etcheverry, director of LatAm Expansion and strategic alliances at EBANX. The social insulation measures adopted throughout the year, in addition to the payment of emergency aid through digital accounts, helped boost the online market.

“The fact in itself, that there has been a need for almost mandatory use of e-commerce and digital channels, does bring positive impacts. How we consume, work, study, how we use our leisure time, everything changed.”

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EBANX focuses on Latin America

For example, Colombia’s e-commerce is one of the fastest-growing in Latin America, growing 9% in 2020 and is expected to accelerate 16% in 2021, according to Beyond Borders, the annual report of EBANX.

Currently, the most widely used payment method in the region is credit cards, with 70% acceptance. Banking transactions are another popular payment method, 21% by 2020, which have allowed users to make purchases in real time, with platforms such as PSE, without the need for a bank credit card.

Purchases through mobile devices already equal computer purchases in Colombia, according to Beyond Borders (50% vs 50%). “Colombia has two worlds: urbanized people who are very accustomed to technology and are already avid adopters of digital goods, and outside of the main cities, people who are coming to e-commerce for the first time,” said Etcheverry.

Through various tools and inclusive alternatives to generate digital consumers, it is certain that the number of people accessing digital shopping will continue to grow in the coming years. However, it is paramount that countries adopt policies that facilitate this growth.

“Governments must give guarantees to businesses and consumers that the ecosystem is safe, reliable, this through investment in infrastructure to improve connectivity, Data Protection and consumer safety laws, promote cybersecurity,” concluded Etcheverry.

Finally, the EBANX report records that the consumption pattern also changed, now more than 42% of consumers would be buying more frequently, up to 10 times more than before the pandemic. So this new channel offers several possibilities for next year’s economic recovery.

Expanding into Central America

In 2015, EBANX began offering its payment solutions outside Brazil, its country of origin. In the following years came Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia and Uruguay. With the expansion into Central America, the company adds an e-commerce market of approximately $12 billion to its operations.

Costa Rica, EBANX’s first market in Central America, has led the region’s e-commerce in recent years. The country has more than 80% Internet penetration and a high level of educational attainment and financial inclusion. Approximately 70% of its population is banked, according to World Bank data, and 27% are online consumers, making Costa Rica a reference market in the region.

As well as Costa Rica, there are also Panama, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and Guatemala as markets that EBANX is targeting to consolidate its position as a leader in digital payment solutions.

“We are very excited about our expansion in Central America and especially in Costa Rica, a country that is growing rapidly in terms of e-commerce and digitization, as well as having unknown potential for global companies,” says André Boaventura, partner and CMO at EBANX. “The arrival of EBANX in the region will not only allow these companies to expand their operations, but will also have a positive impact on the population by expanding their access to digital products and services.”

EBANX currently has a presence in 15 countries in Latin America, where it will expand its business throughout the region, one of the fastest growing digital commerce markets in the world.


(Featured image by bergslay via Pixabay)

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Anne Kings is a reporter for the financial sector, often tackling Wall Street and shareholders' interests. She also covers the intersection of media and technology, and delves into interesting topics on entertainment. Sometimes she also writes about the cannabis industry, in particular CBD and hemp. She is currently based in New York.