eCommerce & Payment

Still Lagging but Catching Up with the World

A total of 68.0% of Chilean internet users accessed ecommerce websites in June 2016, above the Latin American average of 66.7% but below the global average of 74.3%, according to recent statistics. Chileans also spend less time on ecommerce websites compared to both their global and regional counterparts. Internet users in the South American country spent an average of 25.5 minutes on ecommerce sites in June. The Latin American average was 44.7 minutes and the global average 88.1 minutes. However, Chile's ecommerce industry is set to continue growing strongly, with revenues expected to increase 20% this year to reach around US$2.0bn. Average visits to retail websites per day in Chile increased 14.6% year-on-year in June.

MercadoLibre remains the most popular ecommerce site in the country, attracting 1.27mn unique visitors in June. Local retail giants Cencosud and Falabella occupied second and third place, respectively, each with more than 1mn unique visitors. Buscape was the most popular online comparison site in Chile, drawing in 408,000 unique visitors.

Customer Exprience

E-commerce accommodates a minority population, and digital wallets cater to an impossibly small market. These products are sure to grow but are far from certain to become profitable in the short term. Most likely, it will be generational change that brings these products to scale, meaning robust revenue is potentially decades away. Latin American payments are changing rapidly, but a long road of digital transformation is still ahead.

Payments Overview

Payment in Chile are dominated by credit cards, with a much smaller market share for payment methods like e-wallet DineroMail and ServiPag. The lack of a diverse payment environment is the biggest issue that prevents a stronger growth of ecommerce in Chile. All credit card payments have to be processed by a local banking monopoly which provides an outdated ecommerce solution. 

Domestic and Preferred Card Schemes

65% Visa/Mastercard, 30% Dineromail/Servipag, 5% Bank Transfer [2]

Servipag is a company founded in 1990 by Banco de Chile and the BCI. Servipag is the leader in the debt collection and payment transactions. Whens selecting Servipag upon checkout, the shoppers confirm their details and gets a payment voucher. [3]

Webpay Plus is a payment solution in Chile - powered by Transbank - that allows shoppers to pay with MasterCard, Visa, Red Compra, Magna and Diners Club credit cards.[4]

Presto is one of the major local credit cards in Chile that can be used for purchases in store and online. Approximately over 1.5 million active Presto cards are issued in Chile.[5]

Magna is a local credit card brand in Chile which can be used to pay online. Next to Presto, Ripley and Webpay Plus, Magna is one of the smaller local credit card brands in Chile.

Alternative Payment Methods

Red Compra is a strong payment brand in Chile allowing online shoppers to pay online through bank transfer.

Other Payments method

Sencillito is a popular, secure and simple post-pay payment method for online shoppers in Chile. Sencillito is an offline cash payment method for online purchases using payment vouchers. [8]

MercadoPago is the leading online payment solution in Latin America. It was launched in 2004 and has operations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela. MercadoPago is designed to facilitate transactions both on and off the MercadoLibre's marketplace by providing a mechanism that allows its users to securely, easily and promptly send, receive and finance payments online.

Digital Invoicing

The Electronic Tax Document (DTE) is the electronic billing schema currently in force in Chile, and its management involves the adoption of certain requirements to be met by senders and receivers, including engaging in online communications with the SII or Internal Revenue Service. The electronic billing model in Chile is mandatory and regulated by transitory article 1 of Law nº 20.727. Said article lays down a schedule that distinguishes 5 different groups of taxpayers that must gradually join the electronic billing scheme between November 2014 and February 2018.

Payments Regulation

In Chile, payment to foreign suppliers is often made via an irrevocable letter of credit from a Chilean commercial bank. This is relatively fast and simple, with no lengthy delays in the remittance of foreign currency. Payments are made upon receipt of notice of shipment of goods. Other methods of payment to suppliers include cash against documents and open account

Local Entities

Local credit cards (Ripley, Presto, Magna, Webpay), Red Compra (bank transfer)

Mobile Payments

The mobile phone is at the center of payment innovation for the unbanked as well. Payment companies continue to look for ways to convert paper money into digital currency, namely in the form of stored value on cell phones.

Most Popular Social Network:

Facebook (12.3M users)

Most Popular Payment Method:

Mobile Payments (58%)

eCommerce Volume:

$3.3 billion

Largest eCommerce Website:

MercadoLivre