Thriving on exploiting users’ data, Web2 monopolies like Facebook and Google have ushered in an era of massive internet centralization in recent years. This concentration of power has enabled huge shares of communication and commerce closed platforms, giving users little control over how their data is collected.
An emerging concept, Web3, will provide a means to pivot from centralization to an open-source internet. A recent report from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) found that this new digital economy could reach an astounding 1 billion users by 2031. If executed correctly, the decentralized internet will allow users to take control of their data and content.
While Web3 promises to radically change the internet and its ability to provide value to users worldwide, key hurdles must be overcome before it can be adopted en masse.
One major obstacle to mass adoption is the lack of local payments integration that many Web3 projects have. For example, a global Web3 project based in Germany likely doesn’t understand or offer the preferred payment options of people living in Brazil. While it seems tedious, accepting local payment options familiar to customers in their respective regions is a strategic decision that can make an enormous impact in winning market share.
Let’s look at how Web3 projects can scale in Latin America and globally by expanding local payment options.
Understanding local payment preferences
Local payment methods are regionally preferred payment types. These methods include digital wallets, cash vouchers, local debit networks, bank transfers, open invoicing and other tactics used globally to transact in-store and online. Without local payment fluency, Web3 businesses aren’t able to access different markets across the globe.
However, serving an international clientele by accepting local payments is no easy feat as each region subscribes to significantly different preferred payment options and regulatory requirements. Web3 projects often don’t have the proper infrastructure to reach global audiences at scale.
One of the hottest Latin American markets for Web3 projects is Brazil, as its citizens are adopting digital transactions faster than in any other country. Brazil has seen a massive uptake of its national instant payment solution, PIX, implemented by the Brazilian Central Bank in 2020. For Web3 companies to reach this audience, they must forge a way to connect with local banks and stay in line with local regulations.
COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation in nearly every corner of the world. In Mexico, the adoption of SPEI, a real-time gross settlements payment system created by the Bank of Mexico, is rising. Companies can capitalize on systems like SPEI by finding a way to partner with central banks or employing a third party to link to banks for them.
Additionally, the pandemic and the rise of contactless payments highlighted the importance of flexible payment options. Online payment methods are gaining significant traction in Latin America. For example, Mexican convenience store OXXO recently launched a voucher-based banking app that allows users to pay for their utility bills and online purchases that now boasts more than 1.6 million users. Keeping up-to-date with new developments in the payments landscape is vital to serving customers and keeping pace with the competition.
Establishing trust and loyalty
In many countries in Latin America, individuals are eager to embrace crypto in the hope of a better financial future. A recent study found that Latin Americans are the most bullish on crypto compared to any other region worldwide. There is a huge opportunity for the Web3 movement to establish deep trust with Latin Americans as the centralized system has failed them.
Local payments are a gateway to customer acquisition and loyalty. To effectively enter new markets, it is vital to establish quick integration with all relevant currencies. This results in new end-user conversions and higher success rates, which builds loyalty and trust with local audiences.
Enhancing user experience
It is a widely held belief that much work is needed to streamline the user experience in Web3. Regarding Web3 payments, users are looking for fast, reliable transactions in the payment method of their choice. Web3 projects can improve user experience by meeting customers where they are and speaking their language.
Ways to enhance payment user experience include simplifying the onboarding process and providing exceptional customer support. Notifying users every step of the way so that they are confident their payment is being processed will ensure there is no confusion or apprehension.
Web3 is still in its infancy and has some growing pains in its current state. But accomplishing the due diligence required to deepen infrastructure integrations worldwide will open up endless possibilities and, ultimately, transform the ways individuals socialize, transact and consume data.
Holger Arians is the CEO of Banxa, a payment and compliance infrastructure provider to the global crypto industry.
This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.