In the old days, businesses that wanted to target international customers would open a local office in every country and struggle to overcome serious difficulties like understanding new consumers behaviour, bureaucracy, taxes, localization, among many others, having no time to worry about international transactions when selling. However, it has never been easier to sell internationally and attract new market share than it is now, with a well-built e-commerce website and the support from payment aggregators that would take care of all the complications related to regional differences, still present nowadays in complex markets like LATAM. One of the largest advantages of selling online is the quick access to a potentially global customer base and selling to customers located outside of their country.
Adding local payment solutions for international transactions to your repertoire can help improve your payment functionality, user experience and ROI (Return-On-Investment), which means it will increase your conversion rate and will bring you future growth opportunities. Here are some benefits of processing international transactions with local payment options that can leverage your business.
1. Customer reach
Offering customers local payment options ultimately translates into recognizing their needs, which differ considerably from one country to another. An important percentage of the LATAM population is still unbanked. Estimates put the number as high as 70% – or more than 400 million – in Latin America and the Caribbean, a huge market encompassing billions of dollars in cash. Enabling international transactions with local acquirers that provide cash payment solutions for each market is a big opportunity to reach those customers.
2. Painless processing
Integrating a processing system to automate international payments with local solutions allows real-time transactions and reduces the burden of bureaucracy and associated pain points. These could include regional challenges like problematic logistics affecting deliveries, taxes, red tape, regulations and steep import taxes. Additionally, payments can get held up for various reasons, and sometimes the correct amounts may not arrive due to hidden fees. Payment aggregators like BoaCompra can help mitigate the payment processing associated with these issues.
3. Faster, more secure transactions
Tapping into a payment ecosystem that only takes seconds to execute, and at most a few days to complete, can gain you international dexterity. Account information is verified in real time and any inaccurate information can be corrected before a payment is sent. This also leads to less errors or illicit activity by providing enhanced security that can make or break customer trust in your brand.
4. Better decisions
Gain crucial insight into customer behaviour with reports that help you interpret and keep track of your transactional data rather than attempting to draw conclusions from bank statements. How much did you pay in exchange fees in a given period? What currencies or payment methods did your customers favour? This information can be used to optimize your business decisions and even enable you to further improve your product.
The Latin American scenario
There is no doubt that e-commerce in Latin America is on the rise and that online sales certainly appeal to the local Latin American populations. Being an emerging market, fragmentation exists in the region and ecosystems differ from country to country regarding different types of currency and preferred domestic payment methods.
Using Brazil as an example, 60% of local e-commerce spending is done with credit cards. However, the issuing banks only enable 22% of all credit cards for international purchases. The implication of this is that a staggering 78% of credit card holders are not able to shop online with merchants who are selling outside of Brazil.
Taking all e-commerce purchases made in Latin America into account, on average 25% are done using cash. This is done by using a printed voucher and then paying for the purchase at an affiliated agent.
In order to enjoy the full consumer potential of Latin America, it is necessary to understand, embrace, and accompany the payment culture of each of its countries. However, it has simply not been feasible for merchants to have a local entity created in each country with all the requirements met such as having a local address, bank account, tax ID number and so forth. In terms of business strategy, this type of local deployment is extremely cost-prohibitive and impractical.
Latin American markets are eager to buy from online stores, either from domestic or international ones. By providing local payment options, currency localization and international remittance capability, innovative digital payment solutions are increasingly available to e-commerce merchants that make it possible for them to process international payments without ever having to establish an actual presence in the region or even ever having to set foot on the ground there.