Linio Goes Mobile: Can it Convince LatAm Consumers M-Commerce is Secure?

Last month, we posed the question of whether Latin America is ready for mobile commerce. The response, in a word, is yes – at least according to the Ericsson ConsumerLab report, which revealed that 74% of Latin Americans express interest in m-commerce. We knew the ramifications wouldn’t take long in appearing, and last week, one major player reacted: Linio.

The heavily-funded Rocket Internet e-commerce company, a.k.a. the Amazon of Latin America,” has released its first app in the realm of mobile commerce. Available for Android, the mobile shopping app allows users to search for items and purchase using their smartphones and tablets. It includes search features and ratings as well as country-specific filters. What’s more, the Linio app allows users to pay directly with their devices.

A look at the Linio app for Android.
A look at the Linio app for Android.

In being among the first out of the gate in m-commerce in Latin America, Linio’s objective is to get a leg up on competitors. Andreas Mjelde, CEO of Linio, explained:

The trend is from e-commerce to m-commerce.  In Latin America we see a rapidly growing penetration of smartphones — we already have 107 mobile phones per 100 local people. We want to position ourselves as the trustworthy m-commerce pioneer in Latin America.

Security the Key to Unlocking Latin America’s Mobile Market

Trustworthiness, in fact, will be essential to the success of the Linio app in Latin America – and any other app in the business of mobile retail.

Latin America is ripe for mobile commercemobile penetration rates are where they need to be, and the underbanked population is eager to find new ways to get into the mix. New solutions are popping up for mobile payments, and consumer interest levels are there. However, one big obstacle remains: security.

The perception that transactions via mobile devices are insecure remains prevalent throughout Latin America. Consumers are still wary of putting their personal and financial data out there through mobile devices. And this doesn’t just affect mobile commerce – it is also a huge obstacle in mobile wallets, payments and banking.

In a recent interview, Felipe Lessa of decade-long mobile payments player Pagtel stressed the importance of safety in mobile transactions, affirming, “The main factor will always be security.” The good news for Linio? Ensuring security requires investment, and the company isn’t exactly lacking in that arena.