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Mercado Libre Appoints Andre Chaves to Head Brazilian FinTech Business

Mercado Libre, an eCommerce and payments platform in Latin America, appointed Andre Chaves as the new head of its FinTech business in Brazil.

“Very humbled and excited to be taking a new role in Mercado Libre, leading our FinTech business in Brazil,” Chaves said in a Friday (March 1) post on LinkedIn.

Mercado Pago is a sizable and fast-growing business, poised to accelerate the democratization of financial services for consumers and merchants,” he added, referring to the company’s payments and financial solutions unit.

Chaves has been with Mercado Libre since 2020 and previously served as a senior vice president of strategy, corporate development and investor relations, Bloomberg reported Friday. Earlier, he spent over a decade at Bain & Co., where he worked as a consultant and later became a partner in their Sao Paulo office.

The appointment of Chaves comes as Mercado Libre aims to expand its range of financial products in its largest market, the report said.

Brazil is an important market for Mercado Libre, accounting for more than half of the company’s $14.5 billion revenue in 2023, per the report. Mercado Pago contributed 43% of the company’s revenue last year, up from 36% in 2020.

This growth can be attributed to the increasing number of eCommerce clients using the platform for payments, loans and insurance, the report said.

Mercado Pago, initially created as an internal payment processing system, has evolved into a major player in the FinTech industry, according to the report. The platform offers card readers, QR codes, credit cards, savings accounts and other financial services to merchants. By using the data collected from consumers on the eCommerce platform, Mercado Pago can offer credit to its customers.

On Feb. 21, Mercado Pago and Western Union said they were extending their relationship and widening a cross-border payments channel between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

In August, the business partnered with Circle to enhance accessibility to digital dollars in Chile.

Chaves told Bloomberg that the portfolio across the region currently stands at nearly $4 billion, with room for further growth.

In the coming year, Mercado Pago in Brazil will focus on expanding its customer base among small businesses, the report said. Chaves emphasized the importance of building a comprehensive value proposition for small sellers, including services tailored to their specific needs.

Chaves also highlighted the competitive rates offered by Mercado Pago to attract more deposits from clients, per the report.

Looking ahead, Mercado Libre intends to release its investment plan in the coming weeks, according to the report. In addition to investments in the credit card business, the company plans to allocate funds toward a loyalty program.

Chaves said that the possibility of spinning off Mercado Pago in an initial public offering (IPO) is “extremely less likely” than before, as the company sees value in being part of its ecosystem, per the report.