Peru is currently the fifth largest internet market in the Latin American region. It is also one of the ones featuring the highest growth in internet users. Indeed, many in the e-commerce industry have been excited by figures recently released by the Peruvian Chamber of Electronic Commerce (Capece) which state that e-commerce in Peru grew 198% in the last two years.
However, these exciting figures aside, Peru still faces some challenges. It has low levels of financial inclusion. Nominally as a result of mistrust of banking institutions. As a result, online shopping has had to evolve new ways to allow customers to pay for goods online. We explore the two top online payment methods and everything international e-commerce merchants need to know about them.
As recently as 2015, the World Bank estimated that only 20% of Peruvians had access to a bank account. These figures have been improving of late. The IMF reported that 43% of Peruvians had an account as of 2017. Nonetheless, these figures still remain low. Coupled this with the general mistrust of banking institutions and Peru was in need of a cash based payment solution. The answer was PagoEfectivo.
PagoEfectivo allows online shoppers to pay for items without a debit or credit card. Upon checkout, a customer receives a unique code. The shopper can then choose to access their online banking platform and pay using this code as a reference. Alternatively, they can head to any of the over 40,000 points of sale throughout Peru to pay in cash.
Offering PagoEfectivo allows your business to access a huge proportion of the Peruvian market who may otherwise be unable to pay for your goods.
2. Mastercard and Visa
Unlike other countries in the Region, most Peruvian banks will allow international transactions to be made using local credit and debit cards. As such, commonly known brands like Visa and Mastercard are also popular in the country. Local card schemes, often operated by department stores like Falabella, are equally popular. According to Capece, 67% of online sales are paid for using a credit card.
However, high distrust of financial institutions can lead to complications for card purchases. Although international purchases are enabled for Peruvian cards, international online purchases can often be refused. Normally on grounds of being potentially fraudulent. As such, international merchants should partner with a local payment aggregator, like BoaCompra, to avoid this problem.
It is important to briefly note that installments are not as popular in Peru as other LATAM nations. BBVA attempted to first introduce them in 2016, and they have not seen noticeable traction. However, this picture may change as more Peruvians head online.
Retailers looking to harness the true potential of the Peruvian market must ensure they localize their checkout process including these popular payment methods.