Financial IT speaks to João Del Valle, Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of EBANX.
Financial IT: Could you please tell us more about EBANX and the career path that brought you to launching EBANX?
João Del Valle: I have always worked with technology, internet, the online world, big audiences. And I have always had connections with the payment world in Brazil, especially with the boleto bancário, a very traditional local payment method in the country. When the opportunity arose, to build a business that would use boleto bancário and other local payment methods on the internet, for a large audience, it made all sense to me. To provide access to an audience that had no access before, by applying everything I had learned and everything my partners knew about the financial market and about large-scale payments & technology, was a no-brainer.
That is how EBANX started, in 2012, to provide access. EBANX bridges the gap between Latin Americans and global companies, by offering Latin American local payment solutions to these companies. Because of EBANX's solutions, consumers in the region can buy online from global companies and pay the way they are used to, with local payment methods.
Financial IT: What value does EBANX bring to customers? Could you explain us how does it work in practice?
João: EBANX connects Brazilians, Mexicans, Argentinians, and other Latin Americans to global e-commerce merchants through the offer of Latin American local payment solutions. How does this work? Typically, each country has its own payment methods. Some have cash vouchers, others have cash on delivery, others work with types of bank transfers, payment at convenience stores or any bank, some countries have debit cards, credit cards of local schemes, domestic credit cards of global schemes, and many others.
Normally, all these options are not available to global merchants. They can only accept payments with international credit cards (that can process foreign currencies) on their websites. What EBANX does is to offer solutions that make it possible for merchants to accept all of these payment options. EBANX is present in each country where it operates, connected to all local payment methods of these countries, and helps merchants by plugging local payment solutions into their websites.
Wish is a merchant of EBANX, and sells to Latin America using EBANX's solutions. The company accepts local payment methods with which Latin Americans are used to, such as boleto bancário in Brazil, and OXXO voucher in Mexico. This creates access where there used to be no access. If it wasn't for EBANX, only one-third of these transactions would occur. This means multiplying your presence in a country by three times, only by offering local payment methods. This will allow your exponential growth in the country.
Financial IT: What are the catchiest trends in the industry now, in your opinion? How does your company address those trends and challenges?
João: The world of payments has been boiling for some years now. Several of its trends have matured. Some hypes have passed. What persisted is what really has content and conditions to move forward. One of these trends that had proven to be concrete and persisted is about cross-border payments or global payments. In other words, allowing people to make payments in a frictionless, agile, convenient and compliant way from all over the world. Payments have to be global. And this is exactly the way EBANX works, providing convenience and agility to both consumers and merchants.
Merchants can integrate our local payment solutions through a unified API and receive unified settlement reports, which allow them to have a complete view of the whole region. With EBANX, they do not have to integrate with a local player in each country. And EBANX is convenient to consumers as well because it allows them to choose how they want to pay. They are not forced to use a specific payment method or forced to give up the purchase for not having the payment method that the website accepts. The consumer has the money, there is a merchant on the other side selling what this consumer wants to buy, it is just a matter of connecting them.
But, the cross-border challenge is not only about cross-border payments. It is much more. Merchants need more than a payment strategy. They need an entire market entrance strategy to expand into a country. And this market entrance strategy is also about guidance in cultural aspects of this country, marketing consultancy, a customer service to answer the questions of customers in that specific country, in their specific language. And EBANX offers precisely that: a full service, an entire market entrance strategy, making merchants' life easier on all these verticals.
Financial IT: What could you say about further expansion of EBANX beyond LATAM market?
João: We have strong institutional and commercial presences in several countries. We have institutional presence in Singapore and in the UK, and in every country we operate in. In addition, we have very strong commercial presence in countries and regions such as China, United States, and Europe.
When it comes to operations, we are Latin America. One of our main differentials is being focused on this specific region, and on completely solving the problem in it for the merchant, providing end-to-end solutions. We are specialized in Latin America.
Financial IT: What key success tip you could share with FinTech startups?
João: Always start by looking for real clients, real revenue. For any startup, this is our tip. Do not think about fundraising first, do not think about PR first. Always think about clients. "How can I bring my first client? My first hundred and thousand clients?" That is what will make the difference. And always have the following in mind: "Think big, but start small". Think of a large market, but first, master a small niche. Because it is no good to dream big about three, five, ten years from now if it is not possible to survive this year. And there is nothing better to motivate a company than seeing its clients portfolio growing.
João Del Valle, Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of EBANX
With more than 15 years of experience in software development, João Del Valle is the mind behind the first platform codes of EBANX, which allow all company operations to work with fast frictionless synergy and responsiveness. Currently, João is responsible for technology, product, operations and customer experience. He holds a MSc in Object-Oriented Software Engineering from École des Mines, in France and a BSc in Computer Science from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná in Brazil. In addition to having worked as a specialist in several companies, he was also the lead engineer of the team that built the national accounting and finance system in Mozambique, where he lived for two years. João holds an MBA degree from Fundação Getúlio Vargas and has also attended executive programs at Stanford, Harvard and Singularity University.
EBANX is a global fintech company with Brazilian DNA. Created in 2012, it offers end-to-end payment solutions across the entire cross-border e-commerce transaction flow, providing over 100 Latin American local payment options to global merchants eager to expand throughout the region. The company goes beyond payment processing, by offering merchants marketing consultancy services and a 24/7 local customer support team to serve all their Latin American clients – in their own language. EBANX has already enabled more than 33 million people in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador to access global products and services, and already enabled over 500 merchants to reach new audiences in Latin America. For more information, please visit https://business.ebanx.com/en/.