Mexico X Shopify & POS

Key Findings: When launching a Shopify (Plus) store in Mexico, Shopify’s “Shopify Payments” is a non-starter.


We recently had the experience of working on a client project, launching a luxury beauty brand’s Mexico website using ecommerce platform Shopify (Plus). In addition to supporting the brand’s launch of Shopify POS in their brick and mortar location in Mexico.

Understanding payment processing, POS and credit card terminals in Mexico and Latin America have been one of the more challenging aspects to unravel – hence our desire to share key learnings here.

Let’s start with E-Commerce:

Shopify (Plus)

If you are launching a Mexico website using Shopify (Plus) it is first important to know that Shopify’s “Shopify Payments” does not service Mexico.

Shopify has partnered with several payment processing providers that do service the region. The most well known players include: PayPal Express Checkout, CuberSource, Mercado Pago and Stripe, though for a full list of payment processing providers see here.

In the case of our client project we were recommended by Shopify to use Stripe.

Shopify POS

Our client uses Shopify and Shopify POS across all its sites and brick and mortar locations so our plan for Mexico was to use the same.

But here’s the caveat; since Shopify’s “Shopify Payments” does not service Mexico, this means that Shopify’s hardware for in-person credit card processing is also not compatible.

What we learned is that Shopify’s cash drawer, receipt printer, barcode scanner could all be used and that we could still use the Shopify POS system to track sales and inventory – however the most imperative step of all was missing – how do we process credit cards in store?

Payment Processing / Credit Card Terminals in Mexico

Since we integrated with Stripe for the Mexico Ecommerce site we contacted Stripe to see if they had credit card terminals we could use in store, but discovered their product called “Terminal” is not yet available in Mexico.

Stripe did provide a list of apps and extensions that could be used, however, all that we explored were forms and had no hardware / fraud detection options.  Additionally, other Credit Card terminal options such as Rapyd and Square but unfortunately these options do not service Mexico either.We also tried connecting with Mercado Pago but we were unable to reach a sales representative.

We then spoke with PayPal Zettle which was looking like a promising option. Some notes for those exploring PayPal Zettle:

  • 2.23% per transaction

  • All transactions are the same rate

  • No monthly or annual rate

  • $129 for Zettle and there was a promo for $29 for the first reader

  • Readers use Bluetooth connection – not wifi

  • Transaction transfers are automatic to your PayPal account. You need to set up an auto transfer from PayPal to your bank.

After weeks of research and engaging a local financial lead on the ground in Mexico, we were able to conclude that most stores are using bank terminals. The three most popular banks are BBVA, Citi Banamex and Santander. Many US companies go with Citi Banamex because it’s Citi bank and familiarity brings a level of comfort.

There are also non-bank terminal options that are commonly used in Mexico: one is called ConnectPOS and the other is Mercado Pago’s Point Smart. Additionally, PayPal’s Zettle is becoming more widely used.

Since our client banks with Santander we decided to work with Santander on supplying the credit card terminals. Some notes for those considering working with Santander:

  • They have processed over 800 million transactions

  • Have over 20K clients

  • Clients: Marriott, TelMex, etc

  • Includes: fraud protection, security, reporting

  • Multi channel platform – terminals, app, call center, chatbox, recurring payments, QR code, MIT card Terminals: chip, tap. PCI communication

  • Works on 4G and wifi

  • They tokenize so they don’t store credit card

This was an invaluable experience – adding a depth of knowledge to our in-house project management team.  Feel free to be in contact with us directly for any of your International Shopify needs.

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