As Covid-19 drives demand for e-commerce, Ebanx has significantly increased the number of local payment methods Latin Americans can use on international marketplaces. The cross-border processor has also expanded its partnerships with other payments companies so it can serve more merchants based outside Latin America. Robin Arnfield reports

There has been a massive expansion in Latin American consumers’ shopping online during Covid-19, accompanied by a surge in first-time users of digital payments.

However, Latin Americans face a challenge when shopping from foreign websites that only accept international-enabled Visa, Mastercard and Amex cards. According to Ebanx, only 19% of Latin Americans actually have credit cards, and just 6% have cards enabled for international transactions.

Latin American countries are characterised by a large number of domestic payment methods which generally cannot be used for cross-border online purchases, such as localonly debit and credit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets, and cash vouchers. For example, Argentina’s two local credit card schemes, Naranja and Cabal, are only accepted for domestic purchases.

Ebanx’s integration with local digital wallet providers, local card issuers, and companies such as PayPal, Shopify, Amazon and Visa enables Latin American consumers to use the payment method of their choice and pay in their local currency on cross-border marketplaces.

Ebanx enables its clients to accept alternative payment methods such as bank transfers, e-wallets and popular cash vouchers including Brazil’s Boleto Bancário, Mexico’s Oxxo and Colombia’s Efecty. These printable vouchers contain a barcoded invoice that is payable with cash in a convenience store, and also, in the case of Boleto Bancário, via ATMs and digital banking.

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Ebanx acts as the merchant of record, treating cross-border payments on its platform as domestic transactions, so they are not seen as cross-border purchases by issuers and acquirers. As instalment payments on credit cards are highly popular in Latin America, Ebanx also enables clients to offer this payment method on their websites.

Geographic expansion 

In October 2020, Brazil-based Ebanx announced an initiative to expand its reach into five new markets in the next 12 months: Costa Rica, Panama, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala in Central America, plus Paraguay.

Ebanx currently operates in nine countries including Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Uruguay and Brazil, where it also offers domestic payment processing. Ebanx expects to launch in at least one of its five new Central American countries in the first quarter of 2021, and in Paraguay in the second quarter, a spokesperson tells RBI.

“We also plan to offer our hybrid services model, with both cross-border and local processing within the same territory, in Colombia, Argentina and Mexico, besides
Brazil,” she says. “The timeframe will be within the next 12 months.”

In January 2020, Ebanx launched its Ebanx Go wallet and associated physical and virtual prepaid Visa card in Brazil. “We plan to roll out Ebanx Go into other Latin American markets, with the first market outside Brazil expected to launch in the second quarter of 2021,” the spokesperson says.

Adoption of Ebanx Go has grown steadily in Brazil, with around 60% of current purchases made with the Ebanx Go card occurring within Ebanx merchants, the company says.


In September 2020, Ebanx announced Product Series 20, a significant upgrade to its platform, designed to improve the end customer experience, merchant onboarding, response times and approval rates.

From a consumer perspective, the most important aspect of the upgrade is that Ebanx has significantly expanded the number of local payment methods that international merchants can accept on its platform. It has also launched a payout service, enabling international companies and gig economy players to send payments to local suppliers and contractors in Latin America.

“Latin America is the fastest-growing region worldwide for e-commerce and digital payments, with the high penetration of smartphones having a significant impact,” says Juliana Etcheverry, Ebanx’s director of strategic payment partnerships and Latin American expansion.

“2020 has been a year of big disruption in payments in Latin America, with new entrants competing with incumbent acquirers and new payment methods coming to the fore. Also, the patterns of purchasing have changed dramatically too. So that’s why Ebanx aims to be ahead of the game in terms of the direct integrations we launch.”

According to market research firm eMarketer, e-commerce will grow by 19.4% in Latin America and the Caribbean during 2020, while mobile commerce will expand by 32.2%

“We’ve expanded our reach through new products and improved our existing products in terms of the connections we already have with the various players in the payments industry,” says Etcheverry. “Our goal is to enable consumers to shop online with the payment methods that they use for their utility bills or other day-to-day purchases.”

Ebanx currently connects with 40 processors in Latin America, and accepts over 100 payment methods. As part of the upgrade, Ebanx has improved its merchant dashboard with new report formats and the ability for merchants to dispute chargebacks within the dashboard. Ebanx has also upgraded its APIs which include payments, transaction confirmation, data validation, and tokenisation capabilities, to make it easier for payments fintechs and developers to integrate with its platform.

In August 2020, Ebanx partnered with ACI Worldwide so that, by integrating with the global processor, it can serve merchants wanting to expand to Latin America. Another new feature involves Ebanx’s direct integration with Shopify. “This means that all Shopify merchants selling in Latin America and using our technology have access to a transparent checkout,” says Etcheverry. “Their customers aren’t redirected to another checkout page, but remain within the Shopify environment. Merchants using our transparent Shopify checkout are seeing a 36% increase in revenues.”

In Brazil, Ebanx has partnered with Visa to improve integrations and processes for payment services to Brazilian consumers. “Visa has adapted its rules to facilitate and expand Brazilian consumers’ access to products and services from outside Brazil…in a safe, transparent and practical way,” Marcos Marins, Visa’s head of acceptance – Brazil and regional partnerships, said in a news release.


In 2019, Ebanx’s total processed volume (TPV) across all its markets rose to $2.2bn from $1.5bn in 2018. Due to the effect of the pandemic, Ebanx forecasts that its overall TPV will remain static at $2.2bn in 2020.

While Ebanx has seen declines in some industry sectors this year, it experienced huge growth in payments for online games. “In March 2020, just when social distancing measures started to take effect in Latin America, we saw a 106% year-on-year growth in TPV for online games,” explains Etcheverry.

Ebanx has over 1,000 merchants using its cross-border payments platform, including online retailers, e-marketplaces and digital goods, and services merchants such as AliExpress, Uber, Airbnb and Spotify, the last two being served through a partnership with French processor Worldline.

Other processors offering similar services include dLocal, which operates in multiple Latin American markets, and PagBrasil, which provides domestic and cross-border payments to international marketplaces and merchants selling in Brazil.

Wallets, cards vouchers 

“As part of our expansion, we’ve integrated with e-wallets such as PayPal and Mercado Pago in Brazil and Nequi in Colombia, says Erika Daguani, B2B product director at Ebanx. “Also, consumers in Colombia can pay with local payment methods on Amazon using Ebanx.”

Ebanx and Amazon’s Colombian partnership is the first step in a strategic expansion of the two companies’ relationship in the region. Mercado Pago is owned by Argentina-based Latin American marketplace MercadoLibre, while Nequi is a digital-only banking subsidiary of Bancolombia.

E-wallets are proving popular with Latin American consumers because of the convenience and security they offer compared to entering card details when paying online. In 2019, digital wallets were the third-mostused payment method for e-commerce purchases in Brazil, representing 14% of transactions, according to Americas Market Intelligence.

“Since May 2020, we have been able to accept payments using local- and international-branded debit cards from all the main Brazilian issuers, including Caixa Econômica Federal’s new virtual debit card says Daguani. “We also now use 3DS 2.0 for secure debit card acceptance.”

In June 2020, Ebanx registered a 115% year-on-year growth in Brazilian debit card TPV. Since April 2020, the average month-on-month growth in the total value of Brazilian debit card payments on Ebanx’s platform has been 9%.

Debit acceptance is important for Ebanx, as there are more debit cards than credit cards in Brazil. According to Banco Central do Brasil, last year 116 million debit cards and 110 million credit cards were in issue in the country.

Over 38 million Brazilians only have debit cards in Brazil, and 20 million have combo cards offering both debit and credit options, with only the debit function being activated, according to the Brazilian Association of Credit Card and Services Companies.

Ebanx has improved the user experience for consumers paying with cash vouchers, with new mobile-enabled features such as scannable barcodes for easier online payment and geolocation showing customers the nearest physical payment locations.

“Upgrading the voucher user experience is important because the cash culture is still very strong in Latin America, and cash vouchers remain very popular,” says Etcheverry. “For example, 80% of Oxxo users in Mexico say that they will continue to use Oxxo cash vouchers for international online purchases.”

In Brazil, Ebanx now notifies merchants within minutes that a consumer has paid their Boleto voucher using cash in a store or online banking, whereas in the past it would take several days for merchants to be notified.