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Taking credit card payments in Mexico City remains a problem. It is reckoned that of the 70,000 merchants operating across the 329 markets trading in the city, there are just over 2,100 POS terminals, or smartphones which can be used to take credit card payments from customers.
Government authorities and payment platform specialists agree that this represents a lost opportunity for the merchants, at a time when more shoppers want to use credit cards.
The problem is particularly acute for the markets, because whereas ten years ago they catered for almost 90% of the population, lately that figure has fallen to around 46%.
The backdrop is, that card use has doubled in Mexico over the last five years. What’s more, many people now prefer to pay with cards, rather than cash. This means that the markets are struggling to attract customers, especially those with higher purchasing power, and cannot significantly increase their sales. Figures suggest that for those merchants who can accept credit card and digital payments, business can be increased by up to 2.5 times.
Various schemes are being put in place to encourage merchants to purchase a subsidised smartphone able to process payments, in order that they can take advantage of shifting customer habits.
The problem for many traders though, is that they do not reach required levels of transactions before they pay the lesser fees charged by the banks. One way around this is for a number of merchants to group together and pool their transactions.
The authorities believe that such schemes and ideas will help more merchants take advantage of being to take credit card payments.
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