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Payments in a Post-Coronavirus World: How the Pandemic Is Influencing Tomorrow’s Industry in Latin America

Pandemic Is Influencing Tomorrows Industry in Latin America

While the novel coronavirus has (understandably) dominated the day-to-day focus of today’s payment players, the fact is, at some point we will either fully adapt or be living in a post-coronavirus world. How can our industry prepare? In a recent webinar hosted by Fintech Americas, we brought together experts from Redeban Multicolor, Red Link and PROSA to explore where they see the industry going – with a specific emphasis on Latin American markets – and what they’re doing to ensure future success.

Accelerating digital innovation

Our panelists agreed that throughout Latin America, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of new payment methods and channels. In Argentina, mobile wallet adoption skyrocketed with one of the main state banks now capable of opening accounts remotely, 100 percent online, for free.

To incentivize eCommerce shopping, Colombia suspended its VAT for a day, which resulted in an all-time eCommerce sales record of nearly 312 billion pesos (USD $80.85 million). This initiative forced banks, processors and gateways to reconsider their business models and processes in relation to how they are serving the country’s eCommerce customers.

Forty-three percent of our webinar participants listed an increase in digital channel transactions as having the biggest impact on their businesses, to put further evidence behind these examples.

New relationships and collaboration

To meet increasing demand for digital payments, payment players must leverage open banking platforms for greater collaboration. Banks and fintechs must work to integrate their products and solutions; they must deliver the truly digital experiences that customers now expect and that can only be achieved through collaboration, and an open ecosystem and mindset.

Looking forward, the need for collaboration will intensify as new capabilities and channels, such as QR codes, are either introduced or become more mainstream. Banks and other financial institutions will be pressed to speed up time to market to maintain customer loyalty and drive revenue.

Additionally, pan-regional schemes and real-time payments connectivity will create even greater demand for partners who can quickly and easily allow banks, merchants and customers to tap into new markets.

Smarter fraud prevention

As always, fraud is a central concern for any organization within the payments ecosystem, including the Latin American region. Even more so now that, with pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions in place, fraudsters have honed their digital skills. The rise of digital and cross-border payments has seen a relative increase in fraud, forcing companies to deploy smarter, more robust fraud prevention technologies.

The issue at hand is how to protect customers without impacting the customer experience. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are already proving effective in more accurately separating genuine transactions from fraudulent ones, but these systems must be bolstered by emerging technologies, such as biometric matching, to prevent identity theft. Collaboration between participants across the ecosystem will also be key, as fraudster also work as teams to exploit weaknesses.

Top priorities

Flexibility – From the way we work to the technology we deploy, organizations must maintain flexibility to adapt to complex situations in a faster manner.

Integration – Finding the right alliances with industry participants will accelerate the development of digital offerings that drive economic growth and satisfy customer demands.

Security – Emerging payment types and channels, coupled with a newfound reliance on eCommerce and digital payments, present the perfect storm for organizations attempting to secure customers. The entire payments chain must be active and involved in developing and implementing faster, smarter, more complete security solutions.

Omni-channel – While eCommerce is growing, there is still plenty of room for in-store and in-person payments. Merchants must work to ensure these experiences (buy online, pickup in-store) and payments (contactless) are simple, convenient and secure.

For more insights from our expert panelists, check out the full on-demand webinar.