Payments Fintech Liquido to Democratize Payment Access in Latin America

Liquido, the “next generation” payments company for Latin America, emerged from stealth today to launch publicly.

The company reportedly “spent the last two years building a comprehensive and flexible payments infrastructure to modernize and democratize digital payments access for Latin American businesses, similar to what Stripe built in the U.S.”

Liquido’s core payment services “serve a wide range of needs and customer preferences, all through one unified and integrated API.” The company reveals it “has already processed more than $300 million in payments through a closed beta with several top consumer brands, and now, after extensive testing, it is ready to open access to its best-in-class technology to merchants across Latin America.”

Additionally, Liquido has “debuted its Payment Plus Platform (PPP), which runs on top of its core payment services, extending capabilities in new and exciting ways.”

PPP is designed “to create customer experiences tailored to local markets and grow within verticals.” Its initial solutions “include the first-of-its-kind WhatsApp Liquido Store and Payment Success Booster.”

To accelerate deployment and development of additional capabilities, Liquido has “raised $26 million in funding from Index Ventures and additional investors, including Base Partners, Restive Ventures, Mantis VC and UpHonest Capital, all of whom are recognized for supporting innovative fintechs throughout the world.”

According to Statista, the transaction value of digital commerce in Latin America was estimated “at more than $100 billion in 2019 and is now expected to increase by approximately 73% by 2025– growing further to reach $371.2 billion by 2027.”

Yet, credit cards only “account for 23% of total digital transactions, leaving the remainder to different mechanisms that struggle with deliverability, reliability and user experience issues.”

Despite its market size and opportunity, the Latin American payments market “remains fragmented.” Liquido fills the need with payments infrastructure that will aim to “transform payments within the region.”

Shanxiang Qi, Liquido co-founder and CTO, said:

“Between my work at Uber and DiDi, I spent several years devoted to the LatAm market, and I was struck by the prevalence of cash payments for rides. This observation led me to conclude that even the middle and upper echelons of society in the region lacked convenient access to digital payments, which ultimately limited options for business. We needed to create a way for businesses to offer better, more secure financial services to deliver what the market deserves.”

With Liquido, businesses can “accept and process all forms of payment– from credit and debit cards to bank transfers to digital wallets, and even cash – in order to increase payment acceptance rates.”

Liquido also provides alternative solutions “to help companies to make payroll payments as well as pay suppliers, associated businesses and more through bank transfers.”

Now, the company takes payments further.

After multiple rounds of ideation and customer testing, Liquido has “introduced the first offering for its PPP: the WhatsApp Liquido-Store.”

It allows merchants to “create a mini Shopify-like storefront within WhatsApp without any coding knowledge required.”

Customers can “browse, find and buy from merchants all within the familiar environment of WhatsApp, which is the most used social network in Latin America, with more than 94% penetration in several countries.”

Liquido’s core payment service offerings “help close the loop within the WhatsApp context, boosting shopping conversion rate and enhancing the overall customer experience.”

The Latin American market has “struggled as traditional payment methods like credit cards have resulted in high fraud rates and low payment success rates while more secure, newly developed and quickly evolving local instant payment methods have taken a toll on convenience, leading to longer user flows involving multiple clicks, information entries, and sometimes even app-switching, all of which contribute to low payment go-through rates.”

To solve these problems, Liquido “launched its Payment Success Booster on the PPP.”

Payment Success Booster helps merchants “achieve higher payment success rates without taking on additional risks. Key features include customizable fraud flagging and transaction blocking, WhatsApp payment recovery, flexible payment method switching, and smart routing and retrying.”

Liquido was “co-founded by Shanxiang Qi, an Uber alum who worked on the company’s expansion in China, Southeast Asia, and Latin America and also served as the Head of Payment and Head of Growth for DiDi’s LatAm expansion, and MK Li, a former VC who began his career at Google, followed by Microsoft Silicon Valley.”

The pair had “discussed issues plaguing Latin America for several years, along with the opportunities that existed, as they were persistently inspired by the region.”

At the beginning of 2021, they came together “to start Liquido with the mission of maximizing the potential of clients by simplifying and optimizing the payments connectivity and experience in Latin America.”

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