Why Installment Payments Are Flourishing in Latin America

Why Installment Payments Are Flourishing in Latin America

Imagine a scenario: A smartphone in Brazil costs about two and a half minimum wages, placing it beyond reach for many. Yet, 66% of Brazilian households have one. Similarly, a premium TV, priced at two minimum wages in Mexico, can be found in 91% of Mexican homes. The key to this conundrum? Installment payments.

Installments have democratized access to modern technology and uplifted living standards across Latin America. By segmenting costs into manageable monthly sums, this payment approach has enabled households to relish the perks of today’s products without straining their finances.

Intrigued about the influence of this payment strategy? Let’s dive into its concept, merits, and how it became a dominant trend in digital commerce within the region.

Unpacking Installment Payments

Installment payments represent a phased plan for purchases made using credit cards, both online and offline. Rather than a one-time payment, consumers make regular contributions, typically monthly, until the complete amount is settled. Generally, no interest is charged, but exceptions exist.

From their inception in the 1980s, installment plans have not just been a Latin American preference but a necessity, particularly during financial downturns or tight cash flow periods.

Presently, while evaluating various payment tendencies in Latin America, consumers rely on installments to acquire high-ticket items like electronics, jewelry, and travel. Interestingly, it’s less about the total cost and more about whether the installment scheme aligns with their monthly budget.

A Deep Dive into Latin America’s Payment Culture

E-commerce growth in Latin America is unparalleled, with projections indicating a 30% annual surge till 2025, rivaling only the Asian markets. This boom, attributed to advancements in tech and internet penetration, signifies ample expansion vistas, particularly for global ventures.

Given the soaring online shopping trend in the region, installment payments stand as a crucial transaction method. For instance, a significant number of digital commerce sales in the region are transacted via installments.

Brazil spearheads the adoption of installment payments, with Mexico trailing closely. Notably, sectors like e-commerce, travel, and SaaS consider installment options pivotal for sales augmentation.

The Ripple Effect on Cross-border Transactions

Installments are not only boosting digital commerce operations but also amplifying cross-border transactions within Latin America. This mode facilitates companies to broaden their footprint across nations, thus catalyzing fresh market avenues and bolstering international trade, which is instrumental for regional economic ascension.

Installments: A Win-Win for Consumers and Enterprises

For Latin American buyers who often grapple with financial limitations, installments provide a lifeline. It enables them to stagger the costs over an agreed period, rendering luxury items both attainable and budget-friendly.

Merchants too reap benefits. Offering installment plans enhances the buying experience, bolsters sales, and optimizes revenue. For instance, retailers in Mexico saw a whopping 370% spike in average ticket value when payments were spread over 12 months. Similarly, a Brazilian retailer recorded a 200% surge with a six-month installment option.

Exploring Other Prime Payment Modes in Latin America

While installment payments are a pivotal pillar in Latin America’s digital commerce space, any venture eyeing expansion here should thoroughly comprehend the payment ecosystem and the market’s potential. Dive into our comprehensive white paper for a detailed look at Latin America’s market dynamics and dominant payment methods.

Eager to arm yourself with the latest insights for business amplification in Latin America?


Hanlie Richter

Marketing Analyst at FacilitaPay and Growth enthusiast.


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