AuthPlus and more: Product highlights from the LATAM Region
1. This year saw the launch of AuthPlus, which is the first product specifically designed for the Latam market. What does that product mean for businesses that operate in the region?
It’s interesting to believe that we can consolidate the region as we have done in other markets, but it’s simply not the reality for Latin America. The region is always going to be fragmented. And I think that as a serious player in the market, we need to adapt to the region, as opposed to expecting the region to adapt to our reality. So AuthPlus is a product that basically bridges that complexity and allows merchants to operate a multi-acquirer, redundant approach into a market that demands that. So, you have markets in the region that have different card networks and some cards are accepted better on one network than the other. You have markets where it’s a duopoly: you have 2 established players who acquire, we’re a gateway to them but they have stability challenges so having that redundancy on the fly is important. You have merchants who are partnered with multiple incumbents at the same time and transactions are split across them and we’ll deal with that administration. So what we did was built all of that into the platform that is AuthPlus.
AuthPlus reroutes volumes based on events, based on volume commitments, on latency, on downtime, scheduled downtime … What it does is whenever we have scheduled downtime on a 3rd party acquirer that we support in the region, we automatically load that into the system and the moment that downtime window starts, it starts routing transactions to somewhere else. In a nutshell, what it does is removes all of that complexity from the merchant side and allows them to prioritise their structure based on whatever requirement they want to have – what’s their most important KPI? If it’s acceptance, if it’s cost, whatever it is, we create the business rules within the platform and that platform will do all of that on their behalf. It tracks acceptance historically which means that you can set it to prioritise the best performing acquirers. We’re so confident in our acquiring that with the merchants who work with us we accept more than everybody else, right?
2. What sort of feedback are you getting from the market, for the product?
I guess the market was in need of a solution like this as we were inundated with enquiries after we launched AuthPlus. Most of the merchants were doing this on their own. Some of them in a really sophisticated way, some of them in a very manual fashion. But all of them had that need. It’s one of those things you don’t know you need until you have it. And, we’ve had pretty successful results with the product. We’ve seen substantial uplifts of up to 8-9% in acceptance by bouncing transactions across multiple networks. We have seen cost reductions, which is also pretty attractive. I mean, most merchants have different price conditions with different issuers / cards / networks, and we’re able to route all of that in the most efficient way. It’s customised per merchant, which means they can change the status as many times as they want. In the region where redundancy is so import and where latency is something you don’t take for granted, in a region where acceptance is not the best, having the ability to route that dynamically is pretty important.
3. Is there anything you can tell us about any other future products that are coming down?
There’s a couple of things, we’re advancing on two different fronts. Acquiring is our quintessential product, so the focus is always going to be there. We want to acquire in all of the markets where we operate, or at least establish a solution that allows us to control acquiring in terms of acceptance, managing costs, and those kinds of things. So that’s always the priority. We’re working really hard towards Argentina right now, we expect to launch that Q1 next year. I guess the country is in really dire need for a solution like that. The market is super active. 81% of people have access to the internet, so it’s on a level with pretty mature countries but the performance across payments today is not to that level. So, the merchant community is demanding for that.
We’re looking to other markets. We’re always working closely with the card schemes on which markets to develop together. There’s the need to start working together in all Pacific countries: Colombia, Peru and Chile, to see what we do in each one of those.
And the other line of business will always be on the side of products like AuthPlus. In terms of maximising acceptance, optimising the solution for clients, or improving the gateway with our partner or merchants.
The other thing that we work extremely hard at is anything that has to do with reconciliation. I guess reconciliation is a challenge in every market, but when you consider that merchants take instalment payments here, and spread that payment over time, the reconciliation of those payments is far more complex. So, we’re working on streamlining those processes for merchants so for them it’s something as simple as reconciling a regular card payment.
So those would be the 3 areas where we will focus the most over the next 12 months. We’re lucky enough to have a technology team that understands the local market. Since they know the market they don’t need to be told what instalments are, they don’t need to be told how to reconcile those payments, so those guys are always eager to launch something new.