Exploring the regulatory landscape in LATAM's payments industry

Monday 7 August 2023 08:10 CET | Editor: Raluca Ochiana | Interview

We spoke with Jonathan Wilson, Chief Risk Officer at PayRetailers, about the ever-evolving regulatory landscape in LATAM’s payments industry and how regulations can provide a risk-free environment for companies to conduct business.


What is the current state for the payments industry in LATAM? How can the adoption of real-time payments, Open Banking, and increasing competition from central banks help shape the future of payments in LATAM?

Alternative Payment Methods (APMs) continue to thrive in LATAM, with real-time bank transfers, cash-to-electronic money conversions, and digital wallets gaining significant popularity over credit and debit cards. This growth is predominantly driven by the current generation, which shows a preference for APMs due to a reduced reliance on traditional banks compared to older generations.

Looking ahead, the adoption of real-time payments and Open Banking presents promising opportunities for shaping the future of payments in LATAM. Real-time payment solutions offer instant and seamless transactions, streamlining payment experiences for both consumers and businesses. 

Simultaneously, Open Banking promotes collaboration and innovation through secure data sharing between financial institutions and third-party providers, paving the way for the development of innovative payment solutions and personalised services, thus enhancing the overall payment ecosystem in the region.

What are the latest regulations in the payments field in the region? What has changed since 2022?

Since 2022, Latin America has undergone a significant regulatory transformation, creating a fertile ground for digital payment opportunities and challenges. Fintech regulations have become more accommodating, with streamlined licensing processes and favorable policies promoting financial inclusion and economic growth. This has encouraged the rise of cutting-edge payment platforms, bolstered by simplified regulations for cross-border transactions, enabling companies to expand their presence in diverse markets across the region. 

Alongside this growth, security measures have been strengthened, with advanced technologies like data encryption, two-factor authentication, and transaction monitoring enhancing consumer confidence in digital payment solutions. PayRetailers plays an important role in increasing security and instilling trust among Latin merchants and their customers through its comprehensive security solutions.

As cross-border payments become more fragmented, how can regulations improve the process and help benefit both merchants and consumers?

Regulations can be beneficial for the payment industry because they can provide consumers with confidence that their money is safe, which, in turn, drives adoption. There is a view that unregulated goes hand in hand with a lack of control, or lack of security. History has proven that view to be correct at times, and so regulation can be an effective way to provide consumers and investors with the confidence needed to put their hard-earned money into a neobank, or an emerging payment technology, helping to grow the payment industry as a whole.

Moreover, rather than succumbing to the traditional labyrinth of bureaucratic red tape, regulations can promote an ecosystem that encourages smooth cross-border transactions. This would be highly beneficial considering that complex payment processes still exist, leading to customer distrust and frustration. That's why choosing the right payment processor, such as PayRetailers, is crucial. With its extensive portfolio of payment methods, a network of partners, and the newest technology, friction can be eliminated, allowing businesses to expand effectively in the region.

PayRetailers tackles challenges like regulatory limitations, geographical barriers, and lack of flexibility, enabling smooth cross-border operations and efficient transactions. With competitive fees, dedicated customer support, and an all-in-one platform, processes are simplified and optimised, expanding customer reach, and fostering growth in both Costa Rica and throughout Latin America.

How does PayRetailers position itself on the LATAM payments market? How can your solutions help customers increase digitalisation and generate growth?

PayRetailers is the payment processor of choice for merchants who want to do business or grow their business across borders and locally in LATAM. PayRetailers removes the complexity and heavy investment in payment integrations which would be necessary to accept payments from consumers throughout the region. It also removes the barriers that come with doing business in numerous currencies and settling funds across borders. 

With a single API integration, PayRetailers’ customers can get access to more than 250 payment methods in more than 12 markets and have their funds settled anywhere in the world. Our vast network of banking and payment provider partnerships makes it easy for a customer to access the whole LATAM market, which is driving digitalisation and generating growth. 

What have been the most significant changes in this environment and how have they influenced PayRetailers' strategies and operations? What are the opportunities for PayRetailers in this regard?

Having a local presence in key LATAM countries is important to understand the local consumer trends and emerging businesses, as well as to develop relationships with banks. Also, in terms of regulatory landscape, Latin America, unlike Europe, has the particularity that, despite being very close, each market is completely different from the other, with its own regulations. Our company understands the need of having specialised teams in each country where we operate, to be aware of new motions, updates, and to progress according to the digital needs that each environment demands. 

One key part of the PayRetailers strategy is to have first-in-class risk management and compliance programmes. Our strong risk and compliance management programmes allow PayRetailers to offer flexible and instant payments to businesses. while keeping fraud and other risks from eroding revenue and overall consumer experiences. 

About Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan currently serves as the Chief Risk Officer at PayRetailers, where he leverages his industry-leading experience to reduce risk exposure and enhance security profiles for the company. He brings a wealth of knowledge from his previous role as Head of Risk for PaySafe's Digital Wallets division, and additionally, from his track record as Chief Risk and Compliance Officer (CRCO) at AU10TIX, developing effective enterprise risk management frameworks. His expertise in innovative internal controls and policies helps drive PayRetailers' success, as it expands into new markets in Latin America.

About PayRetailers

Founded in 2017, PayRetailers is a leading global provider of online payment services with Latin DNA. Through one direct API, one technology platform, and one contract, PayRetailers offer global merchants more than payment methods without the need of a local entity. PayRetailers’ platform provides businesses with the ability to manage their payment ecosystem, analyse data, and simplify their customer experience through fully integrated solutions. PayRetailers is headquartered in Spain, with regional offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.

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Keywords: payments , payment methods, real-time payments, Open Banking, regulation, fintech, digital payments, multi-factor authentication, neobanks, banks, marketplace, digitalisation, local payment method, instant payments, risk management
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: PayRetailers
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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