The Business Year

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Given that a substantial part of the population still uses cash, there are innumerable opportunities in Mexico in the area of electronic payments for payment companies.

Gricha Raether Palma

Country Manager, Poni Mexico

The remittances market motivated the creation of Poni. Between 55% and 65% of the Mexican population is unbanked, and most have family members or friends in the US who send them money so they can survive. In addition, 60% of transactions here are in cash. We saw an opportunity to service the needs of the receiving end, understanding that they need cash. We are leveraging the existing infrastructure in Mexico, where there are more than 50,000 ATMs. We have eased the unbanked into the sector without making it hard or scary for them, making it easier for them to gain access to cash without forcing them to open a traditional bank account. They can go to a store, buy this card, call an 800 number, and provide some basic information. This enables them to access any ATM in the country. Mexico has a special, close relationship with cash. Even though a cashless economy is better for everyone, right now the cultural aspect makes it impossible for this country to abandon cash. We are not necessarily supporting a cash economy, but we are definitely using it to our benefit. All these other companies, such as American Express, who would like to have everybody with a card or e-wallet, are fighting this reality.

Blas Caraballo

Former Director General, PayPal

For the next two to three years, one of our pillars will continue to be providing our customers and consumers with safe and convenient ways to buy online. Mexico was one of the first Latin American countries that big retailers and e-commerce players like Amazon entered. PayPal helps those merchants to grow and consumers to pay in a faster and more secure way online. Initially, many consumers were unsure about paying online, so PayPal created its Buyer Protection to provide consumers with the reassurance of knowing they have coverage if they have any issues. For the coming year, we plan to accelerate our growth to bring more consumers onto our PayPal platform. Another important part of our strategy globally and in Mexico is building partnerships. For example, we have a partnership with Konfí­o to offer working capital to our merchants. We have another partnership with Banorte to help users link their bank and PayPal accounts so they can purchase more online and use the digital economy in a better way. Our relationship with iZettle is more than a partnership, as PayPal acquired the company. Hence, in the future we are looking at how we can work together and provide more value to all our merchants with both online and offline payments.

Laura Cruz

Director General, Laura Cruz

As our number-one priority, we are focusing on our employees and business continuity during this COVID-19 pandemic. We are a technology company and were able to migrate to a home-office environment fairly quickly. The second thing is reinforcing our strategy around how we accelerate Mexico’s digital transformation, of which payments are a significant component. In that sense, we continue reinforcing our overall digital strategy, which has to be in the way we enable new players to come into the market at a faster rate and help existing players move to a digital environment faster. Once we have the digital environment, we have to ensure we have the safety, security, and trust needed in that environment. This has been our strategy since 2019, and COVID-19 is just accelerating the pace at which we have to move to enable this. Mexico has been a great ecosystem for innovation, and we have a significant share of fintechs in Mexico. We actually have more fintechs in Mexico than in Brazil, for example. The fintech environment was already developing in Mexico, and those are extremely well positioned to help us again accelerate this digital transformation. Mastercard has created programs to help them engage in the digital payments faster and leverage our technology better and quicker.

José Ramón Ojeda

Director General, Payback Mexico

Mexico has been part of the global loyalty coalition since 2012. We celebrated our seventh anniversary in 2019, and our aim is for Mexico to become the second-largest business unit after Germany. In Mexico, currently, one out of four families are part of the program and our aspiration is to match the growth of a developed market such as Germany. The opportunity in Mexico is huge and continuously growing, whereby we see great growth potential in the coming years. One of the priorities for us in Mexico since our launch has been the digital space. A significant difference in Mexico is that we are fully digital. Our platform is mainly digital, and we have limited printed materials, which today is more relevant also for the environment. In Mexico, many customers are still not that savvy in the digital loyalty arena, and we need to continue educating them on maximizing their value through our digital channels. The core of the Payback business is the marketing platform we use to deliver offers to the customer across multiple channels. The channels we have available range from traditional email to mobile communication such as SMS and push notifications that tip our customers to maximize their value through the offers available.

Luz Adriana Ramí­rez

Country Manager, Visa Mexico

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reshape much of life and business, as we know it, Visa’s core mission to connect the world to enable individuals, businesses, and economies to thrive has never been more critical. Consumption patterns during the pandemic highlight the need for digitalization. Consumers’ need to feel secure has pushed the benefit of digital payments, online shopping, and contactless technology to become a more frequent part of people’s lives. This technology adoption certainly will prevail when life returns to “normal.“ Visa will continue to collaborate with all players in the ecosystem, supporting the new business models emerging that respond to today’s challenges, continuing to innovate, and offering secure and reliable forms of payments. Digital payments still have a great deal of room for growth. Mexico has traditionally been a cash-driven economy and needs to advance more in its financial inclusion goal and continue promoting a digital economy for which a significant portion of the population does not even have access to, given they do not have any relations with a bank. Considering the challenges, needs, and shifting habits of consumers brought about by the pandemic, Visa will maintain its commitment to drive the adoption of electronic payments to all sectors of society and contribute to a thriving economy.



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