Evolution of Fintech and Football in Latin America

FinanceFeeds Editorial Team

PayRetailers, one of Latin America’s biggest payment technology firms, sponsor of the 2021 and 2022 seasons for CONMEBOL Sudamericana, one of the most prestigious annual South American football tournaments

Although belonging to completely different industries, both PayRetailers and CONMEBOL Sudamericana are connected in many ways. They are both leaders in their respective fields and aim to connect the diverse people of Latin America.

The Rise of the Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol or CONMEBOL

The people of South America love their football and a big part of their social interactions revolves around the sport. CONMEBOL is one of FIFA’s 6 continental confederations and is one of the oldest sports institutions in the world, founded in 1916. It organizes and manages South American football tournaments.

CONMEBOL Sudamericana, also known as La Sudamericana or Copa Sudamericana, is one of the most followed football tournaments in the region, besides CONMEBOL Liberatadores. The tournament began in 2002, replacing both Copa Merconorte and Copa Mercosur.

While there have been slight changes in the model over the years, CONMEBOL Sudamericana has a new format as of this year with 157 matches within a season, starting with the Regional Playoffs, continuing with the Group Stage and lastly the Final Phase. 

It is a dream for a club team to be able to compete in an event held by one of the most prestigious sports institutions worldwide. In 2019, CSD Independiente del Valle defeated Colón to secure their first CONMEBOL Sudamericana title. Founded in 1958, the club played only minor leagues until 2010. From then on, it was counted as one the best South American soccer teams, always finishing among the top but never winning, until 2019. Touted as underdogs, the team emerged victorious in 2019. Theirs is an inspirational story of grit and perseverance. 

Growing viewership both on home grounds and abroad speaks volumes of the tournament’s popularity, especially on digital platforms. Technological developments in sports recording, data capturing, and digital media have taken the tournament globally, bringing it to life on Pay TV and OTT platforms. In 2020, 43 million viewers witnessed the tournament, of which 20% of the audience comprised international viewers, who viewed the matches on online platforms. Supported by a huge digital presence, the tournament is set to grow in Brazil and other countries in the future.

PayRetailers’ Success in a Difficult Payments Landscape

In terms of meteoric growth, the story of the CONMEBOL is similar to that of PayRetailers. Launched in 2017 in Barcelona, the company entered the Brazilian market in 2018. This was a challenging landscape, where a huge section of the population remained outside the purview of formal financial institutions. However, with grit and perseverance, almost reminiscent of CSD Independiente del Valle, the company faced the challenges to record 500% growth in 2020.

Although the fintech landscape is in its nascent stages in Latin America, it is growing rapidly due to rising demand. The total transaction value of digital payments is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.32% between 2021 and 2025, to reach $278,157 million. PayRetailers aims to play a significant role in this growth.

The company leverages local partnerships to connect diverse regions of the continent. 

Rodrigo Puig Mir, Chief Strategic Officer at PayRetailers, looks back and concludes, “From the first day, we knew that our unique business model will be successful, as it relies on local presence and partnerships. After entering the Mexican markets, we quickly expanded to Brazil and neighboring countries. Just like football, we believe in the power of team play. It is crucial for us to have a strong IT team to implement new payment methods and link new APIs to our infrastructure quickly. Not only that, different elements of the business have to work together to be able to score goals when necessary, to secure that win.”

If you are interested in expanding your business in South America, connect with payretailers.com. PayRetailers can help you manage all activities on the payment side on a local level with their technology-driven and versatile payment services suite, which supports over 250 different payment methods.

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