Kushki, an Ecuadorian fintech unicorn, initially began as a payment service provider (PSP) eight years ago. Last year, the company shifted its business model to include physical payment methods, becoming the first non-bank regional acquirer in Latin America. Kushki now operates as an acquirer in Colombia, Peru, Mexico, and Chile, holding licenses from Visa and Mastercard.

Rodrigo Quijada, Kushki’s country manager in Chile, highlighted this development during the Chile Fintech Forum in Santiago. He explained that once a customer in Chile contracts Kushki’s services, they are automatically integrated into the company’s network across all operating countries, eliminating the need for separate negotiations in each country.

In line with this aggressive growth strategy, Kushki aims to expand “card-present” transactions, allowing users to utilize physical cards at POS terminals. This expansion leverages the expertise acquired from purchasing Mexican company Billpocket two years ago, which has over 500,000 terminals in operation.

Focus on Key Markets

Kushki prioritizes its operations in Chile and Mexico, where it sees the most interest and opportunity. Quijada emphasized that Kushki offers a unique regional acquiring experience, unlike other providers who require separate contracts for services in each country.

Future Trends

Looking ahead, Quijada identified three key trends: the digitalization of points of sale (POS), omnichannel capabilities, and frictionless security.

  1. Digitalization of POS: This involves equipping vendors with advanced machines that support various payment methods beyond just cards. Improved accessibility and technology are crucial for this transformation.
  2. Omnichannel Capabilities: Vendors seek the ability to accept payments in different currencies and methods, including POS, e-commerce, real-time payments, and cash. Quijada noted significant potential in expanding these capabilities.
  3. Frictionless Security: Security measures must ensure safe transactions without adding complexity. Technologies like facial biometrics and 3D Secure are promising solutions for achieving this balance.

Kushki’s expansion and strategic focus on regional acquiring and advanced payment technologies position it as a leader in the evolving Latin American fintech landscape.