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LatAm payments: PayU enjoys e-commerce boom during pandemic

Data provides quantification into central but opaque market trend; PayU plans to add credit services to clients’ customers at check-out.

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Photo: iStock

Proprietary data provided to Euromoney from digital payments platform PayU has quantified the dramatic growth in the adoption of e-commerce in Latin America during the coronavirus pandemic.

The global payments processor has been active in seven Latin America markets since 2012, and in the first seven months of 2020 processed more than 210 million transactions for more than 25,000 merchants across Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Peru and Mexico.

In the first seven months of 2020, PayU’s regional customers saw a 71% increase in the number of unique buyers, a 62% increase in the number of transactions and total sales volume was up 49%.

The pandemic has steepened the curve of what is a secular trend towards much greater adoption of e-commerce
Mario Shiliashki, PayU
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The fastest-growing markets were Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Chile, with annual increases in online sales in June 2020 of 225%, 195% 165% and 131% respectively.

“We started 2020 with e-commerce in most [Latin American] countries having small single-digit market shares of total sales and we ended the year with all countries up by at least 100%,” says Mario Shiliashki, head of payments at PayU.

“The