ECONOMY

E-commerce rising in Latin America despite setbacks

Latin America's e-commerce market is on the rise despite serious gaps between the GDPs of the countries in the continent, according to a new report.

The figures published Wednesday by The Fintech Times newspaper showed that 155.5 million people out of over 600 million in the region are expected to use online platforms to buy goods and services in 2019 -- a staggering increase from 126.8 million in 2016.

The region's retail e-commerce sales are predicted to rise to $79.7 billion in 2019 from just $49.8 billion in 2016 at a time when Latin economies struggle in many other sectors.

Despite the positive outlook for growth, the report said access to secure credit card-based payment methods are limited in the continent where many people do not use a formal banking system.

E-commerce website eShopWorld reported that 36% of online consumers prefer using PayPal, and 35% Cash on Delivery to minimize potential risks.

Logistics, traffic and infrastructure are major issues for the region and has negative impact on overall sales.

However, when it comes to Brazil and Mexico, the two markets that hold enormous potential for e-commerce in Latin America, consumers' preferred payment method is via credit card.

There are 66.4 mn e-commerce users in Brazil, while 59.4 mn internet users in Mexico, with respective populations of 209 and 129 million.

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