When you sell in Brazil, you need a partner with real local knowledge, says Souheil Badran
If you are looking for a huge new market to crack, you’ll struggle to find anywhere more attractive than Brazil. It is the fifth largest country in the world, has the sixth largest population and is seventh in terms of internet usage. E-commerce is developing at a rapid rate, with 100 million consumers and rising. And if you succeed in Brazil, you have the perfect leaping off point for marketing to the rest of Latin America.
In fact, you may already be trading with Brazil without really realising it. Brazilians love shopping overseas and having goods shipped back to them. So what do you need to know in order to make the most of Brazil?
First, you need to master the local quirks. Take the concept of credit. In the UK if a customer wants to buy a laptop on credit for £1,200, they’ll use a credit card. In Brazil this is less common. Instead there is a tradition of paying by instalments. The customer might pay £50 a month over two years, interest free. If you don’t accept payment by instalments, you’ll be leaving money on the table.
Secondly, be aware that Brazilian taxation is not simple. There are national taxes and local taxes, and two varieties of taxes for imported goods. For transactions executed in a foreign currency cross-border, the cardholder will be charged 6.38 per cent Financial Operations Tax or IOF.
From our office in São Paulo, we help some major brands thrive across Latin America, particularly in Brazil
PwC rates Brazilian tax forms as the most time consuming in the world to complete. In truth, once grasped, the taxes won’t present an obstacle, but they serve as a reminder that when you sell in Brazil, you need a partner who has real local knowledge.
Digital River has been facilitating payments for 20 years, with more than a decade in Brazil. From our office in São Paulo, we help some major brands thrive across Latin America, particularly in Brazil. In addition to e-commerce and e-marketing, digital payments is one of our primary areas of expertise. We provide the full spectrum of payments services, so you can start accepting payments from customers no matter what their preferred payment or where in the world they are located.
We also offer practical advice based on our long experience in local markets. In Brazil, we can help you deal with logistics. What is the best way to send your goods to Brazil? How will you deal with returns? Our consultants can help you craft the perfect policies.
In terms of fraud, we can make sure you trade with real confidence. How can you know whether you are sending goods to a real address or a parking lot used by fraudsters? We work closely with the two largest credit card brands in Brazil, Cielo and Redecard, to ensure our clients have access to the latest advice and data regarding fraud. Our knowledge will help make sure that you aren’t also declining good payment transactions in error.
Souheil Badran is the senior vice president and general manager of Digital River World Payments, leading all aspects of the company’s global payments strategy, including strategic development, sales and marketing, product management, operations, mergers and acquisitions.
Through Digital River World Payments, Digital River offers online merchants more than 180 international and local payment options, and over 170 transaction and display currencies. A selection of payments customers includes Expedia.com, Morinda, PayPal, Skullcandy, Wix.com and Spotify. In 2013, we processed more than $30 billion in online transactions.
Read more on Brazil on our blog at bit.ly/digitalriverbrazil