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Local acquiring unlocks eCommerce potential in Mexico

November 25, 2020 4 min read
Everyone wants to get paid, and easily. With the rapid expansion of eCommerce and digital business, it’s imperative you can receive payments through channels that suit your customers, so matter where they’re located.
Unlimint team
Your payment experts
Unlimint team
Your payment experts

How do you expand into a market like Mexico? You’ve got a killer product, a lit website, and even thought about how to market your business. The final piece of the puzzle is a local acquiring system for your payments. 

You can have all the tech and hottest products in the world – it’s all for naught without ways to process local card payments in Mexico.

Mexico’s a market to make moves into, particularly in the large and rapidly expanding eCommerce space. With nearly 51 million people shopping online, and around 63% of the population with a smartphone, there’s growth potential in buckets. 

Along with cash payment methods that you need to have in place, accepting local credit and debit card payments has to be an option. 64% of all online payments in Mexico are done through cards and businesses need local acquiring for card transactions to make it happen. 

What does local acquiring mean to merchants?

Let’s take a look at how an international merchant can enjoy the benefits of local card acquiring. When customers shop at Eva’s California-based online clothing store, they’ll pay by credit card and everything is perfectly simple. The data rushing through the internet in the background, with local acquiring and issuing banks, is kept from view. 

Her banking acquirer is the go-between from her fashion website to the card companies like Mastercard. It’s the first cog in a mechanism that will finish with Eva getting payments from her customer into her account when she starts shipping her imports into Mexico. 

All the reasons you need local acquiring 

Why would Eva’s business not use its acquiring bank back in the USA? Every country is different. Mexico has unique challenges like high decline rates and local systems like Carnet that the US, or European, banks can’t interact with easily. 

Working with an acquirer who knows the local market and works with the local banking system streamlines business costs. Local acquirers can avoid every single transaction being converted, allowing business people like Eva to take advantage of competitive forex rates on bulk conversions. 

Benefits of local acquiring

It’s easy to assume that everyone uses Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal when you do business in countries like the US or UK. The Mexican payment landscape is more complex than that and a local acquirer gets you access to the scene.

  • Most cards in Mexico aren’t activated for international payments. Without a local acquirer, your business will struggle to trade effectively in a market with local card processors. 
  • A little over 14% of card transactions get declined in Mexico, impacting your conversion rates and increasing customer service costs. A local acquirer reduces your decline rates – the payment is only moving around the country, not the globe. 
  • Paying on cards by installments is in high demand. 60% of card users prefer a payment plan over upfront discounts, says the Mexican Association of Ecommerce, or AMIPCI. Working with an acquirer locally gives you the options locals want. 

How can Unlimint drive growth with local acquiring?

Unlimint offers digital and eCommerce businesses local acquiring services in Mexico. This allows businesses to accept online payments like their local competitors across the country. 

The fashionistas in Mexico are ready for the clothes Eva sells, and she’s got a handle on the language. She’s ready to expand, so what can Unlimint do for her? 

On her website, her customers fill their carts and head to the checkout. In her Mexican shop, she offers payment options of Visa, Mastercard, Carnet, and Amex – not quite what the site offers Stateside. 

This is where Unlimint steps in. Once the customer puts in their details to Eva’s website, that request gets transmitted to Unlimint’s Mexican card processor. From here, the request goes to the customer’s bank for a yes or no. Decision made, the message gets sent back the same way.

It’s all done in a matter of seconds and Eva knows the payment has been a success so she can send out the order for a cute sundress from California. The customer is charged in their home currency with local acquiring, making the whole process smooth. 

Millions of transactions like this happen through Unlimint every day. The service offering is bigger than this, with a dashboard that gives Eva the option to send refunds and do recurring payments for customers to subscribe to her online fashion club. 

Added to these actions, she can deal with chargeback requests, check her customers who pay by installments are successfully processed, and then use the money in her Unlimint account to pay her suppliers over in Europe. 


The Mexican eCommerce industry is growing, and fast. Nearly two-thirds of online payments are made through cards; your business needs to give customers what they want. 

Harnessing the power of local acquiring through Unlimint gives your customers a frictionless journey, with reduced chances of a decline. They can transact in their own currency, with the installment options they want. 

Start trading in Mexico without setting up local bank accounts and new agreements with acquirers. The market is ripe to be developed and Unlimint will work to get you money flowing. 


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