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PayRetailers: Navigating the complexities of cross-border payments in LatAm

| By iGB Editorial Team | Reading Time: 5 minutes
The growing Latin American igaming market is proving lucrative for both suppliers and operators. But with this growth comes a complex demand for cross-border payments. Payment solutions leader PayRetailers has developed products to help solve this Latin American challenge, and project manager Erika Santana believes these go beyond a simple ‘blanket solution’.
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With Chile publishing its first online gambling bill in March 2022, Peru voting to legalise betting four months later and Brazil hoping to follow suit in the near future, it’s no surprise Latin America has the industry’s spotlight. And the future is looking increasingly bright as the Latin American igaming market is set to quadruple in size and reach $6.75bn in annual revenue by 2027. With operators already live, the size of the addressable market makes the region particularly appealing for igaming payment facilitators.

For operators looking for the same success they enjoy in mature markets like Europe, the need for cross-border payments is paramount. The LatAm market is home to differing regulations, currencies, and customer behaviours, and it can prove challenging to find a payments provider that can solve all these problem areas with one all-encompassing solution.

The challenges in LatAm

While not all cross-border payments are complex, foreign exchange controls and central bank regulations across a continent can cause slower transactions and longer processing times. Large banks have also struggled to compete in low-value cross-border payments because of intricate cost structures. This is where a gap in the market for smaller fintech companies has presented itself and though many have tried to fill it, they’ve struggled to find the perfect balance between localisation and performance.

This makes operators’ pursuits for success in the region even more difficult as they try to navigate the complex compliance needs and regulatory demands. According to Santana, their first step should be finding a payments provider that understands the complexities of this new market.

Cross-border payments: understanding the complexities of each market

One of the main challenges for operators looking to launch and expand across the LatAm region is the need for multiple payment options.

Cross-border payments are costlier due to stringent foreign exchange regulations, slower and more complex than domestic payments – as well as the more obvious challenges around quick access. Because of the pressure of working with central banks, Santana believes it important to free the merchant from the burden of managing local, tax, and financial processes, allowing them to fully concentrate on their operations and growth strategies without additional concerns.

“A direct use case would be that of an operator seeking to enter the payment market in Brazil,” she explains. “To achieve this, the operator would need to establish a local entity, understand the complex Brazilian financial and tax regulations, open bank accounts with local institutions, and develop specific platforms to adapt to local payment methods.”

Offering cross-border payments through a platform like PayRetailers simplifies this process for operators. “Our platform not only facilitates expansion to multiple countries with a single integration, but it also increases accessibility for customers, thus driving growth opportunities for igaming businesses.”

Tackling the challenges head-on with PayRetailers

The complexities of the LatAm market stretch far beyond simple differences in languages and currencies – operators will also need to monitor fluctuations in exchange rates and keep track of variable taxes. PayRetailers aims to solve these challenges with its end-to-end payment solutions, which cater directly to the LatAm market’s needs.

By allocating tech teams and dedicating resources to each of these localised areas, Santana says the company has been able to stay on top of what customers need. “Staying updated with the evolution of regulations is essential, and in this regard, PayRetailers stands out by having local teams in each country. These teams are dedicated to closely monitoring the specific regulations of each jurisdiction, ensuring that each processed transaction complies with the regulatory requirements of each country.”

“PayRetailers simplifies the process for operators entering new markets, thus reducing the load of staying updated with constant regulatory changes.”

Santana believes PayRetailers has developed products that cater to the exact needs of the LatAm market.

“PayRetailers addresses the biggest market challenges by staying updated with local regulations and providing a platform that adapts to the specific needs of each country. This provides a simplified and unified solution for operators.”

Lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic

The pandemic lockdown materially altered the landscape of online gaming, putting a huge pressure on mobile payments. This shift has led regulators to adjust regulations to adapt to the new financial and technological needs of the industry.

“It is crucial to highlight that in Latin America the level of banking penetration is notably lower compared to regions such as Europe,” says Santana. “However, the recent transformation in market behaviours, accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, has motivated residents to engage in online banking and adopt digital payments more widely.

“This allows for agile adaptations to new realities, ensuring that operators are always aligned with the latest regulations and local market trends, providing them with a strategic advantage in their path toward expansion and growth for merchants.”

An all-in-one solution

Santana states the PayRetailers PIX system has driven the company’s success this year, transforming the instant payment process into something simple, secure, and agile. The ease of accessing a digital account has propelled PIX into becoming one of the most popular payment methods in Brazil, where it has over 500,000 active users.

“Through its localised checkout seamlessly integrated into a single platform, PayRetailers smooths out the payment process for merchants, making it more effortless and intervention-free. With a single integration, customers can pay using a variety of methods, with smart routing to ensure that there are no failures in transactions, providing more security, convenience, and confidence.”

This all-in-one solution stands out against other competitors on the market by offering a wide variety of local payment methods. From credit cards to alternative regional payment methods, PayRetailers’ product portfolio enables operators to adapt to local preferences without the need for multiple complex integrations, as Santana explains.

“PayRetailers’ adaptability is evident in its ability to manage multiple currencies, simplifying the experience for both operators and customers. The integration of local payment methods and the ability to process transactions in the local currency not only optimise accessibility for customers but also minimise complexities associated with exchange rates and conversions, providing a comprehensive solution.”

Customising a solution

PayRetailers’ system utilises automatic user location detection meaning users get to see their preferred language and prices displayed in local currencies. The feedback on this has been hugely positive according to Santana, who believes it’s proven so popular because of its personalized approach.

“Our platform provides an intuitive and personalized user experience from the moment the customer initiates their purchasing process, facilitating the process and building trust.”

In the backend, says Santana, PayRetailers offers more advanced customization. “Operators can set security criteria and fraud prevention measures tailored to the characteristics of each market.”

Additionally, the system tracks transaction volumes in detail, segmented by countries, providing valuable data for strategic decision-making and risk management.

Boosting conversion rates

PayRetailers’ end-to-end solution simplifies and streamlines the cross-border payment process and has proven to boost conversion rates. Santana puts this down to the removal of customer barriers. “The ability to offer cross-border payments not only represents geographic expansion but also the removal of barriers for customers, translating into a significant boost for conversions,” she explains.

“Access to a wide variety of local payment methods and displaying prices in the local currency contributes to creating a more transparent and comfortable user experience. Consequently, customers feel more confident and inclined to complete their transactions, resulting in an overall increase in conversions for merchants choosing PayRetailers as their cross-border payment platform.”

Driving payments success in the LatAm igaming market

PayRetailers highlights the need for a comprehensive and adaptive approach to payments in the LatAm market. Without this, operators’ attempts at launching in the market could prove both costly and hugely challenging.

The team at PayRetailers believe there are three key steps to succeeding in the LatAm payments scene: a variety of local payment methods, a personalised payment experience and a personalised user interface. Without these, operators are likely to struggle and, in a market where competition is fierce, there’s no time to get the strategy wrong.

“By collaborating with us, the merchant is relieved of the burden of managing local, tax, and financial processes, allowing them to fully focus on their operations and growth strategies without additional concerns.”

Erika Santana, project manager at PayRetailers, excels in leading strategic projects and forming key partnerships, leveraging her expertise in product execution and market trend identification. Her effective negotiation skills fortify valuable relationships, driving sustainable success for the company.

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