Dia de los bancos: Mexican in-store banks reaching out to new clients

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The many in-store Mexican banks have only begun to scratch the surface of the unfulfilled demand for financial services among low-income Mexicans. Or so hope Banamex, Soriana, and Wal-Mart Mexico, the latest entrants into the consumer credit bonanza in Mexico. The success of Banco Azteca, Coppel and other retailers who opened financial services outlets in their branches has attracted a wave of new competitors.

Banamex and Soriana recently launched a partnership making Banamex services available in all 240 Soriana stores, which see an average of 25 million customers per month. “Mi Ahorro Banamex” offers two products: a prepaid MasterCard card, redeemable at all Soriana and affiliated stores, and a savings card. They plan to introduce additional products, such as remittances and savings, in the future.

Wal-Mart?s approach is slightly different. Instead of partnering with a bank, they?ve decided to do it themselves. Banco Wal-Mart de Mexico Adelante is set to begin operations before the end of the year. Wal-Mart is certainly known for its low-cost, high volume business model, but will this carry over into their banking services? With 964 stores covering nearly every region of Mexico, the potential impact on the estimated 80% of unbanked Mexicans is huge.

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Source: CGAP (link opens in a new window)