From agriculture to cross-border commerce and SMB evolution
Latin America and the Caribbean is undergoing a process of digital transformation that is revolutionizing the way businesses of all sizes move their money. From technology to infrastructure, digital transformation in payments presents countries across the region with a real opportunity to forge new economic models and improve the livelihood of businesses and communities.
Industries across LAC have taken notice of the benefits of payments innovation, and as a result, we see an increase in the demand for innovative and digital solutions that can make businesses more agile, efficient, competitive, and relevant in the commerce ecosystem of the future.
Agriculture, an industry that contributes significantly to the GDP of countries in the LAC region, is at the center of this digital revolution. While many rural smallholders across LAC remain unbanked, with a reliance on cash that can impede financial flexibility and minimize their capability for growth, great strides have been made in driving adoption of digital payments.
In Argentina, for example, we see a steady increase in digitization with the use of virtual cards that enable payments for cattle to move quickly between the region’s farmers and their customers. With Visa Agro, a business payment solution that facilitates the purchase of products and resources for farmers, Visa is working together with the Agropago platform and AgroFy to accelerate digital commerce and financial tools for the agricultural ecosystem.
Interest and consumer adoption of digital currencies
Disruptive solutions are emerging to take digitalization to the next level, going beyond physical cards and traditional payment credentials. It’s innovation at its core - driven by partnerships between Visa and fintech partners that defy the status quo and yield flexible solutions that can improve the administrative sales and purchasing processes for all players in the ecosystem.
Such is the case of the partnership between Visa and Agrotoken, the first global infrastructure for tokenizing agrocommodities out of Argentina, which presents an innovative card for agriculture that allows producers to pay for any type of purchase - whether it be coffee or a tractor - directly with their tokenized grains, without intermediaries, in a quick and easy way in more than 80 million merchants that accept Visa worldwide.
This innovative agreement unites two solutions - one of the safest crypto assets that currently exist in the world, based on grains such as soybeans, wheat, and corn, as well as the scale, technology, and acceptance that Visa provides. Visa’s goal is to add value to all forms of legitimate money movement, whether they originate on the Visa network, or beyond, which speaks to our network-of-networks strategy.
Beyond agriculture, we see that innovation is improving flows of money and commerce across borders within LAC enabling corporate treasuries to transform their operations. Innovative payment providers are delivering new models that enable cross-border ecommerce through local payment methods.
The digital transformation is also helping SMEs across the region not only to become more digital but enabling them to partner with larger players like Visa that can provide access to the tools and resources necessary for them to thrive. For example, we are partnering with emerging lenders such as Konfío in Mexico and SEMPLI in Colombia to provide better financing and digital inclusion.
There’s an old saying: if you want to go fast, go alone – but, if you want to go far, go together. In the case of LAC’s digital transformation, going fast and going far results from collaboration and industry partnerships, working together to help organizations of all sizes improve their livelihood, processes, and profitability. At Visa, we see it as a fundamental opportunity to change the business world (for the better!) and drive inclusive growth in the region.