Payments Innovation in LATAM - interview with Ebanx

Friday 23 August 2019 08:46 CET | Editor: Melisande Mual | Interview

Henrik Nilsmo, EBANX: Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina are leading the pack in the region, with more than 160 million people buying goods and services from our core partners


According to the research firm Americas Market Intelligence, ecommerce in LATAM is growing at a rate of 25 to 30% a year. What has changed in the digital payments landscape over the last few years, so as to cater so well to the needs of online shoppers?

We are seeing an access revolution in Latin America – especially when it comes to ecommerce and payments – a revolution that is taking place right now.

First, there is the growing penetration of the Internet, especially with mobile devices. Approximately 60% of the population owns a smartphone, and access to 4G networks is getting cheaper each year.

Second, there is the recent rise of fintechs, which have heightened competition in the financial sector to unprecedented levels. These companies are reaching out to customers in new and innovative ways, providing more accessible, cheaper, and easier-to-use products for Latin Americans.

Put these two together, and you have a scenario where consumers can invest money the way they want and access their preferred products and services, no matter where they come from.

EBANX is a living, breathing example of a fintech company that is thriving in the midst of this revolution. Access to global products and services in Latin America is rapidly expanding thanks to EBANX, as we provide local payment solutions for over 1,500 international companies worldwide that are based in over 70 countries. Moreover, we are a fintech company willing to take these numbers to the next level.

AliExpress, Wish, Airbnb, Spotify (these two in a partnership with Worldline) are just some of our core partners. These retail and digital goods & services giants know the potential of Latin America and have taken advantage of how consumers prefer to make payments in the region.

Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina are leading the pack in the region – with more than 160 million people buying goods and services from our core partners here at EBANX. Consumers in Latin America have an international mindset, keeping an eye out for the next new thing out there in the global market.

Both the number of transactions and the average ticket spent with our merchants at EBANX are soaring. So now is the right time to exploit this potential.

Which markets are at the forefront of paytech innovation, and what is the role of regulatory support in the innovation field? Moreover, what is the role of (challenger) banks in digital payments innovation?

The vibrant tech hubs in China, South Korea, and the US Silicon Valley are at the forefront of innovation, yet Latin America is quickly catching up and isnt far behind. In Brazil alone, we have eight unicorns. Colombia is Rappi’s home, the delivery startup that has become a unicorn in record time. In Mexico, innovation hubs are setting up shops in cities like Monterrey and Guadalajara. Argentina also has several agrotech companies that are really taking off.

Regulation should enhance, not prevent innovation. Any initiative that helps us get legal certainty is more than welcome. But, more importantly, we are looking to become recognized as key players in the market. Trust and stability are at the core of our project, and they are something we are working on in terms of compliance. But again, regulation should not curb the market. We are here to spark innovation and inject a growth mindset into the sector.

EBANX has an outstanding compliance policy. Our team put together what we call the EBANX Shield, a global fraud prevention strategy that addresses Latin Americas financial environment. It has four layers of protection, including an internal knowledge database to identify and mitigate any potential risks. This not only protects our partners, but also promotes a fairer, more trustworthy business landscape.

Companies like EBANX are broadening the horizons of financial services in Latin America. EBANX nudges influencers and key stakeholders into adjusting to the new ecommerce landscape. EBANX and other fintech companies are offering millions of Latin Americans global access to technology, movies, clothing, and many other goods and services – and all of it within grasp.

We aim to transform Latin America into a global market, into a community of users and consumers connected to the rest of the world. Furthermore, we want to support innovation and growth in new disruptive ways.

Could you provide some examples of successful paytech companies?

EBANX itself is a great example of a successful paytech. We began operating only seven years ago with a pioneering service in cross-border online payments that had no competitors in Latin America. We now provide local payment solutions in eight different countries to merchants from all over the world. We expect to process over USD 2 billion this year, which is no small feat. Giving access to global companies and people in Latin America is in our DNA.

Other examples in Brazil are Stone, which caught the attention of big investors such as Warren Buffett, and Nubank, which is valued at USD 10 billion. These paytechs are also shifting the market.

How will the fintech market develop in the next years in LATAM?

We have a lot to look forward to. After some political turbulence, Latin America is now back on track. The region is experiencing a gradual, sustained economic recovery. A growth of 1% this year and 2.1% in 2020 is expected, according to the IMF.

Though numbers are still sluggish, investments are soaring. A great example is the Japanese group SoftBank, which has announced a billionaire fund specifically for Latin American tech companies. EBANX itself received an investment of USD 30 million from the US-based FTV Capital last year; we are likely to grow by 30% this year and process over USD 2 billion in online cross-border purchases.

Latin America is still captivating investors, and we expect great news in the coming months. Certainly, the region is ready to take the lead in innovation.

What is foreseen for EBANX’s evolution over the next couple of years? What developments are in store?

We are very excited about the opportunities ahead of us. Our offices are already spread in ten different countries around the world, and we are currently experiencing hyper growth.

After becoming a renowned company in cross-border payments in Latin America, we started to offer local payment solutions for Brazilian websites, expanding our services to local companies selling in the country.

We have also partnered with Visa to encourage the use of electronic payments in Brazil. Recently, we launched a tracking solution – available for free to any consumer – to bridge a logistics gap and provide a better service for our customers and merchants.

As I mentioned before, we expect to process over USD 2 billion in transactions this year, which suggests a growth of 30%. We have been seeing an increased interest in Latin America, especially from travel companies and digital services. In our view, these are the most promising verticals in ecommerce and international purchases in the region.

We have also been developing other exciting products and partnerships, and more on this will be available in the future.

About Henrik Nilsmo

With over 10 years of experience in commercial and product leadership Henrik Nilsmo, based in New York City, is the Chief Commercial Officer of EBANX. He is leading the initiative to further grow and expand EBANX geographical reach and footprint, especially in North America, APAC and EMEA.



EBANX is a payments company that offers end-to-end payment solutions for global companies wanting to expand in Latin America. Founded in 2012 to bridge the access gap between Latin Americans and international websites, EBANX operates across the entire cross-border e-commerce transaction flow for international companies. It has operations in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia, and offices in Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, United States, and the United Kingdom.


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Keywords: EBANX, LATAM, digital payments, fintech, paytech, innovation
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce