Chalinga: ‘Pix positions us as a travel industry innovator’
Chalinga, one of Brazil’s fastest-growing online travel agencies, switched on our Pix solution in January 2023. Alongside needing a faster, lower-cost alternative to cards, the company wanted to give its customers the power to check out directly from their bank account – using one of the world’s most successful real-time payment networks.
Why Pix, and why Volt? Well, offering Pix at checkout has become imperative for Brazilian merchants. Person-to-business Pix payments have grown exponentially since the scheme launched in November 2020, with almost 684m recorded in March 2023. This represents a 173% year-on-year increase from the 250m recorded in March 2022.
‘Volt’s Pix integration really stood out’
Juliana Marches, Chalinga’s Country Manager, says she needed three things from a Pix provider: a strong network of experts on the ground, cross-border functionality (in other words, the ability to settle local Pix payments in overseas countries and currencies), and cultural alignment.
“Volt’s Pix integration really stood out,” she says. “Our parent company, RCG, is Swedish, so cross-border settlements were really important for us. So too was help from experts whenever we needed it. We had some specific market and reporting requirements that Volt was very happy to accommodate.
“There’s also a close alignment between our two companies. We’re similar ages, we’re on similar growth trajectories and we share the same values. We felt compatible from day one.”
Increasing Pix’s share at checkout
Chalinga’s integration of Volt’s Pix solution got off to a healthy start, with the instant payment scheme achieving a 20 to 25% share at checkout. “The money we’re saving on fees with Pix means we can offer our customers a discount,” Juliana says. “And Brazilians love discounts.”
When customers hover over Pix at checkout, a tooltip explains that, by choosing it, they’ll receive 5% off. Before long, Pix’s share at checkout grew to as much as 50% on certain days. “The monthly average is now 35%, so since integrating Volt’s solution its share has grown by 10%,” Juliana adds. “It’s an amazing result.”
Pix: beating card instalments despite not having its own – yet
The growth is all the more remarkable considering that Pix isn’t just up against cards per se, but card instalments. Approximately 80% of Chalinga’s customers who use cards pay in instalments. “The average number of instalments used to be four,” Juliana explains. “Now it’s more like six to eight.
“Travel has become more expensive, so people pay in more instalments. But Pix is still preferred by many customers, which shows how popular it is as a payment method. This will be taken to a whole new level when Pix instalments are introduced.”
‘It positions us as an innovator’
Aside from driving conversion, Chalinga’s Pix integration has two further benefits. “It’s been great for the company’s cashflow,” Juliana says. “Pix payments are low cost and funds settle every day, including weekends and holidays, hours after they’re processed. Card payments take two days to settle, and because of the high volume of instalments we’re typically charged between 12% and 15% in fees.
“Not all merchants in Brazil offer Pix at checkout. It positions us as an innovator. When you look at Skyscanner, you can see Chalinga offering Pix while other merchants offer only credit cards. We’re one of the only travel agents to have it, meaning we can reach more customers.
“Our own data tells us just how successful it’s been. In January, the month we switched on Volt, we achieved a record-breaking 5,000 ticket sales – on average more than 200 every day. Once we started picking the right suppliers, and working with the right people, everything went crazy in the best possible way.”
Chalinga is an online travel agency headquartered in São Paulo. Founded in 2018, it specialises in the sale of flight tickets and ancillary services such as seat selection, priority boarding and baggage upgrades.
Volt’s integration of Pix, Brazil’s domestic instant payments network, went live in November 2021. You can find out more about the integration here, and learn how it works – and how to switch it on yourself – here.