Two Successful Models for Promoting Banking Digitalization: The Cases of Colombia and Peru
The success of online platforms in the Colombian banking system offers a clear example of how private enterprises can optimize services, expand their customer base, and enhance social inclusion. In Peru, the process has been slow but comprehensive, aiming for a transition to "open banking."
71% of the millennials in the United States would rather go to the dentist than listen to what banks are saying, according to the Millennial Disruption Index, while 35% of the banks in Latin America feel they are not meeting the needs of this generation, and 71% admit they are unable to rapidly adapt to technological advances, according to a study done by the GMix program of Stanford University and Technisys. However, in upcoming years this age group will be the main source of consumers and labor.
Millennials represent close to 30% of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean. For more than half of them, only innovative companies will be successful. In effect, four out of every ten believe that the private sector is the true driver of innovation, according to a survey conducted by Deloitte. For this reason, banks in the region are looking for new formulas to attract them:
1. Chile: Collaborative spaces
The millennials are the “BRICs” of the age groups: due to their size, they can disrupt the economy, particularly the banking industry, according to Scratch. In Chile, banks are betting on collaborative spaces to approach this generation. Thus, was born Work/Café, a space open to the general public for working, holding meetings, and using free Wi-Fi and that already has six locations in the country. The Santander Group’s wager includes a cafeteria with discounts for clients, executives specializing in financial advice, and ATMs for cashing checks, making deposits, and transferring funds.
Another characteristic sought by millennials is flexibility. Thus, these branches add four hours to traditional banking hours in Chile, remaining open for 18 hours, Monday through Thursday. Work/Café also gives talks in order to keep capturing clients constantly.
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2. Brazil: 100% virtual
In Latin America and the Caribbean, 55% of the population buys products via the Internet and 90% of millennials are digital banking clients. For this reason, a Brazilian bank made the decision to be the first 100% digital bank. Banco Original developed a website, applications for mobile telephones, tablets, and even Smart TVs to reach its public on line and close its branches.
To avoid in-person visits, this Brazilian bank developed a site with services for personal, commercial, and agribusiness banking. In addition, it developed Bot Original, a service enabling interactions via Messenger and even on Facebook, with a robotic system of instantaneous responses for clients.
3. Mexico: On-line support for SMEs
One of the region’s largest financing gaps is experienced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs); this gap is estimated at between $210 billion and $250 billion. However, for more than half of the region’s millennials, a venture is one of the most important achievements. Thus, the banking system is seeking ways to facilitate access to financing for SMEs given that applications for financing for companies of this type still require in-person visits in many countries.
Bankaool, Mexico’s first 100% on-line bank, developed financing tools for SMEs. Clients can apply for and receive financing for their businesses in a more streamlined and expeditious way. This has also allowed the bank to carve out a niche within the financial industry based on its work generating inclusive businesses.
Innovative wagers continue to flourish in the region and in the rest of the world, from applications for different financial operations and the use of biometric profiles, to the development of products for women’s banking. They all seek a positive effect on returns, efficiency, and the consumer’s experience. It is thus essential to continue looking for strategies that make attracting millennials possible since, as John D. Wright once said, “Business is like riding a bicycle. Either you keep moving or you fall down.” Now we need to see what the banking sector’s next move will be in the region.
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Venture Debt Now Available! A New Financial Solution for High-Growth Firms In the Region
Venture debt can be an attractive, efficient and flexible financing option to drive innovative and tech-companies growth, in addition to and complementing venture capital investment. Find out what it's about and the first regional fund focused on this instrument for expanding ventures.
Banking Agents, On the Frontlines of Financial Inclusion
Banking agents, or small shops contracted by banks to process client transactions, are laying the foundation for the digital transformation of the financial sector. They have also become a safer channel for clients to get cash during the pandemic.
What is a future flow securitization and what are the benefits?
Imagine that you represent an operationally strong company in a small or island country. You have helped it grow a business line specifically linked to the export of an essential product (oil or copper, for example) or the processing of financial transfers from abroad (credit cards, remittances, etc.), and see promising projections for the future. In addition, you want to diversify your current funding sources, which come from more traditional sources like commercial banks or nonfinancial institutions. Did you know that the existing and future cash flows of your business could be used to obtain another source of financing? This is how the securitization of future flows works, a little-known alternative with multiple benefits for the companies of Latin America and the Caribbean.
A future flow securitization allows an enterprise (bank or corporate) to monetize existing and predictable cash flows expected to continue over the ordinary course of your business. The flows generated by the company are used to pay the debt service to the investors on the financing. Some examples of future flows from assets that are used in capital markets include: 1) Future financial flows like payments on receipts from international credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, among others), family remittances, and payments of foreign direct investment; and 2) Future flows of companies such as payments for exports of aluminum or zinc, or dollar-denominated payments from the sale of airline tickets, and other items.
Generally, future flow securitizations in foreign currency involve the creation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) in a jurisdiction different from that of the company that is the originator of the flows. The originator, through a true sale, backed by a legal opinion from an accredited law firm, sells ownership of the future flows to the SPV.
The establishment of an SPV outside the country of the originator company allows the investors to mitigate some risks such as convertibility and transfer risks. In many cases, this reduced risk materializes when an international risk rating is obtained for future flow financing that is higher than the rating for the company itself (which entails a reduction in the cost of financing). In other words, both companies and investors benefit.
The following graph presents a diagram of flows in a future flow financing transaction:
What are the advantages of future flow financing?
The terms tend to be longer than the financing from commercial banks. They can be between five and ten years. Recently, IDB Invest approved the subscription of a note to be issued by the future flows program of the Federación de Cajas de Crédito y Bancos de los Trabajadores (Fedecredito) for $15 million with a seven-year term.
Diversified funds platform:
Facilitates the creation of a financing platform that allows multiple issuances, provided the minimum debt coverage and flow growth requirements are met. This allows for the participation of multiple institutional investors over time.
Impact on development in small and island countries:
The ability to mitigate certain sovereign risks in these transactions allows investors to invest with greater security in activities that produce an impact on the development of the region. In 2013, Banco Industrial Guatemala issued a ten-year bond, in which the IDB Group acquired $150 million, to increase access to financing for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, with a special focus on rural areas and women-led businesses in Guatemala.
Securitizations of future flows are a source of alternative funding that can help to enhance your company’s growth, improve risk management in your company, and expand the base of funding sources to include international institutional investors. If you want more information, we invite you to visit our webpage on capital markets solutions.
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The technological revolution has come to stay in finance, bringing with it a transformation in how small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in value chains obtain financing and streamlining relations between anchor companies and their suppliers, customers, and collaborators. How does it work?
Imagine a company that manufactures aluminum auto parts in Mexico, the principal anchor between the metal supplier and the customer who buys the finished product. The supplier requests the payment as soon as possible, within 30 days, due to its limited working capital. However, 270 days elapse from the time when the company receives the supplies and produces the parts until the sale of the final product. Clearly the money cycle does not match, and the company must pay for its purchases before producing the parts, making the sale and even charging the customer.
Existing market conditions make the situation even more difficult, and the increase in aluminum prices does not allow price adjustments from the company to the customers at the same pace that price metal fluctuates. This means that costs for the company increases more rapidly than the final price of its products.
Not only Mexico’s automotive industry suffers from the complexities of the cash flow ratio (between the average period to pay the supplier, process the supplies, and collect from the customer), it is even worse in other industries, such as supermarkets.
Moreover, the World Trade Organization says that half of all SME requests for financing are rejected, compared to only 7% of the requests made by multinational companies. Access to appropriate and timely financial services for all actors in the value chain is key to achieving successful results. Not only large companies, large producers and traders need access to appropriate financial services suited to their money cycles; small producers need them even more for their survival and financial balance. Thus, value chain financing seeks to fill the gaps created in the anchor company-supplier relationship, as well as to mitigate the perceived risks through innovative ways of providing financial services.
But what is the relationship with technology?
Value chain financing requires trusting and durable relationships among the different actors and financial institutions. Each party involved must know and understand the other. Access to innovative and flexible financial products and services is vital. Financial technology (fintech) companies help to make this happen and ensure that financing is flexible, transparent, reliable, and accessible 24/7.
Fintech companies are a bridge between the anchor company’s requirements and its suppliers and collaborators, through technologies applied to banks’ middle and back offices. By using internet platforms, fintech allow millions of SMEs to access loans, under conditions equal to those enjoyed by larger and more established companies, the missing piece in the puzzle without any doubt.
Most financial innovation companies in Latin America and the Caribbean have arisen in the region’s largest markets, including Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Chile. Alliances between fintech companies and financial institutions have been key to bringing promising solutions to scale. But it is not simple.
IDB Invest is an essential part of the value chain financing circuit in the region, through strategic alliances with its clients (the region’s large anchor companies) and fintech firms. These alliances allow IDB Invest to support the base of the pyramid in Latin America efficiently.
The first step was taken in Mexico, where a framework contract was signed with the fintech eFactor, a Mexican company that offers electronic factoring services for the discount of credit rights derived from the demand for goods and services by large buyers. This marks an important milestone for IDB Invest in its value chain financing transactions and in the creation of scalable and efficient solutions.
You can also see more on the impact of the fintech revolution in Latin America and the Caribbean in this full report.
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