For Smooth Entry Into High-Growth Markets, Consult the Locals

Entering high-growth markets such as India, Singapore and Indonesia can yield huge revenue gains, but assuming that all markets are alike could be a costly mistake, says Worldline’s Andrew Monroe. Failure to offer local payment options could cost merchants 60% or more of their sales in cart abandonment.

Worldline - Global Commerce Tracker: The Merchant's Guide to Opportunities in High-Growth Markets - February 2023 - Learn about the latest developments in high-growth markets and why merchants must leverage local payment options to gain customers and revenue

Industry experts discuss why local expertise can mean the difference between success and failure in high-growth markets around the world.

Entering high-growth markets can lead to huge revenue gains for international merchants, but assuming that all such markets are the same could be a costly mistake. Every country has its own unique regulations, economy and culture, and businesses barge in without a plan at their peril.

“[We see] a lot of folks rush in and then, once they get in, realize the regulatory compliance environment, the import-export taxes, taxes on digital goods and services, keeping money in the country, taking money out of the country [differs nation to nation],” said Andrew Monroe, global head of gaming and media at Worldline, in an interview with PYMNTS.

The key to success in high-growth markets is ensuring that local consumers’ needs are met, especially when it comes to payments. One particularly pertinent example is Latin America, whose countries have widely differing payment preferences despite the region’s frequent treatment as a monolith by economic studies from abroad. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, according to Erika Daguani, vice president of products at payments platform EBANX. While 90% of Chilean consumers have access to internet-enabled payments, the same can be said of just 75% of Colombians and 60% of Peruvians.

“At the end of the day, the one who will choose the right payment method will be the end user,” Daguani told PYMNTS. “Using the payment method you have in your hands is key [to eCommerce.] … It’s a game-changer for Latin America — and for the entire world.”

Nothing short of boots-on-the-ground local expertise is sufficient to help corporates learn and enable the payment methods of choice in their target high-growth markets. No amount of high-level market research can replace having a guide fluent in local payments and regulations. If that is not achievable with companies’ current staff, they would be well-served in forging a partnership with a third party that can provide that data to them.

“Our consumers today expect to visit a website that speaks their own language, presents prices in their own currency and enables them to shop in their local preferred payment methods,” said Guillaume Tournand, vice president of growth, digital commerce at Worldline. “[The alternative would be] highly inefficient compared to a situation [in which businesses] would have a much more localized approach when payments are made domestically.”