As online shopping continues to grow and sales reach USD 16 billion in 2021, it becomes apparent that the Chilean market is fertile ground for those looking to invest.
Originally published on March 04, 2020.
Blog post updated on November 15, 2022.
But for an effective return, merchants need to ensure that leads convert to actual sales by offering preferred local payments available at checkout.
The country has the highest card usage rate in Latam (78%), but local payment methods such as debit cards, bank transfers and e-wallets also have a considerable share of e-commerce purchases.
Consequently, merchants must get acquainted with the top local payments for e-commerce in Chile to ensure more efficient strategies when selling to the country. In this article, you will learn about the main Chile payment methods and the details of each one. Check it all out below!
What are the 4 main Chile payment methods?
Here, we list the most commonly used Chilean payment methods. You will be able to check the differentials of each company so that you can have a broader view of the behavior of buyers residing in Chile. Check it out!
1. Internationally-enabled credit cards
With one of the highest percentages of banking penetration in Latin America, Chile also has high rates of international credit cards, not always the case in the region. They represent 53% of all online sales in 2022, but should fall slightly in the next few years, getting to 47% by 2025.
Since the country has a majority of internationally-enabled cards, this makes Chile very open for cross-border merchants. They represent 22% of all e-commerce sales in 2022, with expectations of rising to 26% by 2025. It’s also worth noting that Chile has the highest sales volume per capita in Latin America, thus being a great option for companies waiting to tap into the region.
2. Debit cards
Debit cards amount to 21% of e-commerce in Chile — this is also different from the scenario in most Latam countries, since many merchants don’t offer debit as a payment option for online shopping.
One of the most popular card service brands in Chile is Redcompra, managed by Transbank, the only company in the country authorized to process debit cards issued by banks. Because it enables debit and prepaid card payments, as well as OnePay (a mobile app), Redcompra is suitable for consumers who don't hold credit cards (only available to 36% of the population).
Redcompra operates through a network of Banco de Chile's ATMs, which allows customers to carry out banking operations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The network has more than 1,200 ATMs across the country, covering virtually all regions.
In addition, Redcompra offers its customers free Internet access through several of its Wi-Fi hotspots.
Transbank is also responsible for WebPay, a payment platform aimed at allowing consumers to securely pay online through credit and debit cards or Redcompra, as well as through the OnePay app. As it accepts a range of payment methods, it's beneficial both for merchants and consumers:
- 100% access to online shopping;
- attracts much of Chilean population;
- builds up business expansion;
- allows consumers to pay in installments.
3. Bank transfers
Bank transfers are a popular payment method for online shopping in Chile, and in 2022 amount to 10% of all sales. Boosted by instant payment methods and other innovations in bank transfers, such as Khipu, the method should grow 55% per year to reach 21% by 2025.
A popular local payment service provider is Servipag, which aggregates several payment methods, including bank slips, bank transfers, commercial cards, debit cards, and Servipag Cash. The company offers payment services for both individuals and corporations, as well as financial products and services for private and corporate customers.
Servipag acts as an intermediary between the customer and the bank, providing access to various payment channels. It also offers innovative technological solutions that facilitate and simplify payment processes with constant updates to improve the user experience and the security of its available resources.
There’s also Sencillito, with the differential of its innovative business model, which offers clients a practical solution for managing their finances. In addition, the company offers an intuitive and easy-to-use online platform that allows customers to control their accounts and financial transactions with ease.
The company uses an integrated platform to engage its customers and has recently developed a good relationship with Chilean consumers.
E-wallets currently represent 7% of e-commerce sales, and should keep this percentage in the next few years. MercadoPago and MACH include the most popular options in Chile.
Since the country has high banking penetration rates, but low access to credit cards, digital wallets emerge as an alternative for such consumers to be able to enter the full e-commerce landscape in Chile.
Why providing local payments boosts Chile's e-commerce
When a country such as Chile meets a set of features that make it very attractive to global e-commerce, then international merchants must offer the payment methods that Chilean e-shoppers expect and process them locally for the best payment conversions:the most competitive country in LATAM;
the highest real GDP growth forecast, according to OECD;
progressive increase in online purchases made in international sites;
stability of policies;
effective legal framework.
Not to mention that the insertion of e-commerce into the Chilean economy is an optimistic perspective for the region in the coming years. Even with a relatively small population compared to other Latin American countries, the amount adds up to US$ 812 billion in annual sales per capita in e-commerce.
This is a very expressive number, especially compared to other potentials in Latin America. In Brazil, this number reaches US$ 717 billion and in Mexico, US$ 373 billion. This demonstrates the size of the potential of the Chilean market. You can check these and other details by accessing our white paper on the topic.
Consumer trends in post-pandemic Chile
The preference of Latin American consumers to shop online, particularly in cases where transactions are carried out via smartphones rather than desktop computers, was another notable major consumer behavioral shift in 2021 in the post-pandemic period.
At the end of that year, purchases made using mobile devices represented 65% of the total volume of purchases made online.
Interestingly, during the pandemic, even first-time e-commerce shoppers used their smartphones to make their first online purchase, reinforcing m-commerce (mobile e-commerce).
Reaching three times the volume of desktop-based online purchases previously captured, AMI predicts that m-commerce will reach 31% growth by the year 2025 — rising to 78% of the entire market share.
Therefore, if you want to invest in any country in Latin America or expand your business to Chile, it is important to consider this data and prepare to receive your customers by offering services adapted to the mobile market, as this will most likely be the future of digital payments in the country.
Address local payments with a partner
Partner with a local expert, such as PagSeguro, to keep up with the local payment methods of each Latin American market. With our help, you can handle payment system implementation in your e-commerce and focus on your business. Get in touch with us to learn how Pagseguro can help your company expand into this promising market: