A country of fast technology adopters, Mexico is undergoing the same digital transformation sweeping the global payments market. Case in point: Contactless and card-not-present (CNP) transactions have surged in Mexico, even with the country’s significant unbanked population and the dominance of cash.
This rapid rise in digital payments, coupled with Mexico’s proximity to the U.S., has led Discover® Global Network to partner with EVO Payments and PROSA Mexico, two payment processors with an established presence in the country and beyond.
The goal? To find new ways to serve Mexican citizens at home and abroad, while taking advantage of cutting-edge digital payment technologies.
“Our main objective for Mexico is to offer strong acceptance in the market,” added Patty Tobon, Head of Issuance, Mexico, Discover Global Network. “Through these partnerships, we will be able to do that, as well as work together to offer additional products and services.”
Of course, a seamless transition is a large piece of the puzzle.
“That’s why we’re making sure all the technology is working as it should,” said Itza Vilchis, Head of Acceptance, Mexico & Central America, Discover Global Network. “The POS terminals are being updated regularly, so that every single transaction goes through, and we’re expediting the implementation of our partners’ tools as much as we can.”
EVO brings modern payments to Mexico
With a presence in the U.S., Canada, South America and Europe, EVO is a payments company that brings new payment technologies to its merchant clients around the globe. In Mexico, EVO is currently focused on improving the security of CNP transactions via authentication and tokenization services.
This is especially important in the current climate, given that CNP transactions in Mexico have increased 35% since 2020, mostly because of the pandemic, according to Ariadne Moguel Tapia, VP Information Models and B2B Products, EVO. And this trend is expected to continue.
Moguel says the largest driver behind this increase is small merchants that previously relied on physical cards and are now exploring digital payment methods—a group that EVO knows well. “We understand that these small businesses don’t have significant development capabilities, so they need payment technologies that are really easy to implement.”
Of course, any new technologies must also support the various changes in consumer behavior ushered in by the pandemic, including contactless transactions in-store.
“That’s why Android POS terminals fit the needs of these merchants so well,” explained Moguel. “Not only do they benefit from various functionalities and services in one device. These terminals are also easy to deploy, use and develop.”
Given the importance of contactless payments, in particular, EVO has made a point of educating its merchant clients on the technology and how to communicate its benefits to cardholders. Said Moguel: “I think this kind of communication on contactless functionality is a job the whole industry needs to prioritize, so we can give cardholders the best possible payment experience.”
And through EVO’s partnership with Discover® Global Network, that cardholder base is growing rapidly. Going forward, EVO will work on extending this acceptance to its larger clients, enriching the partnership for all parties involved.
PROSA takes the first Mexican card brand global
Fifty years ago, PROSA introduced the Carnet card, the first Mexican card brand, and the company continues to be one of the largest electronic payment processors in the country. PROSA now has almost 20 million Carnet cards in circulation, with near-100% local acceptance.
But to better serve its cardholders, PROSA is keen on expanding beyond Mexican borders: “Now is the time to take the next step and be the only Mexican brand available outside Mexico,” said Salvador Espinosa Felix, CEO of PROSA. “That’s why we’re embarking on this journey with Discover.”
PROSA was looking for a strategic partner that would help the company continue to offer its products at the best price, while providing cutting edge payment options like digital and contactless. The technical expertise of the Discover team was among the major factors in the decision to work together, according to Espinosa. Combined with the caliber of the products themselves, as well as the speed and agility of Discover, PROSA’s decision to team up with Discover was relatively simple.
“We wanted to offer our users the best experience,” Espinosa explained, “but the key challenge for us is fast execution. We want Carnet cardholders to be able to use their cards anywhere around the globe, as soon as possible.” And the pandemic only made this goal more pressing.
Through the partnership with Discover®, PROSA is working closely to create one of the most advanced, innovative payment brands in Mexico—one that is accepted at every merchant locally and abroad.
“The value Discover has added is huge,” said Espinosa. “Technically speaking, they are outstanding. But their teams also have the strategic view of the market we needed in order to expand our technical, functional and operational scope.”
The benefits of a flexible partnership
Bringing increased payment flexibility to end users is arguably the most important goal of partnerships like the ones Discover has with EVO and PROSA.
“It’s our motto, after all,” said Vilchis. “Every one of our cardholders needs to be able to pay with their Discover card, anywhere and anytime they want.”
But creating a mutually rewarding partnership is just as important. “We strive to facilitate our partners’ goals as much as possible,” added Vilchis. “So we are very flexible when they need to change course, regardless of the reason. Instead of telling them how it has to be, we work with them to figure out what they need and how we can help.”
Even when that means starting brand-new initiatives. This kind of agility and willingness to embrace change has propelled Discover® Global Network into its position as the third-largest card brand in the world, and the fastest-growing one.
“We’re always looking for win-win situations, and I think that’s our biggest value,” said Vilchis. “We are a true partner.”