Contxto – Circumstances beyond our control can push us out of our comfort zone, or in this case, out of the cash zone. As individuals across Latam suddenly find that using a nearby ATM and even handling physical money can pose a threat to their health, digital solutions suddenly have a new appeal.
Likewise, for fintechs like Mexico City-based Cuenca it means adjusting its product to tender to these new needs. And the startup recently told Contxto it’s shifting its product focus to encourage users to stay home.
Cuenca and payment ease via WhatsApp
“Virtual debit cards have become our priority,” said Matin Tamizi, Cuenca’s Founder and CEO over written correspondence.
“We’ve made it possible to obtain a virtual debit card immediately after completing the signup process. With this card, our customers can pay for streaming and online services, food delivery, etc.”
In Mexico, this helps discourage users from buying prepaid Netflix or Spotify cards at the nearest 7-Eleven or OXXO store, for example. It’s a win-win for everyone as people can conveniently stay on their couch and continue watching Club de Cuervos.
Meanwhile, the general public as benefits because there’s one less person outside possibly spreading the disease; or placing themselves in danger of getting infected too.
“We’re also focused on making transfers increasingly faster and easier to complete,” explained the Executive. To add speed and ease the startup will soon add another payment option to its app: WhatsApp transfers.
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The future of fintechs in a post-pandemic era
Fintechs like Cuenca, whose products and services can be almost completely digitized, may have an increased userbase as a result of the pandemic.
Although I’m not sure that fintechs such as Clip and Sr. Pago that offer tangible solutions like Point of Sale (POS) terminals will benefit during this time. And that’s because normally it’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that recur to these types of solutions to receive electronic payments.
But if business is slow for them due to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s likely fintechs’ profits will also be lower since there are fewer transactions going on.
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