LIVE FROM PAYEXPO EUROPE, LONDON: Mobile and digital payments still have a long way to go in Mexico as the country’s providers continue to struggle to persuade consumers to trust new transaction methods, a top Mexican banking executive said.
Miguel Valero, banca digital director for retail bank Banorte (pictured), said despite the wide availability of technology a lack of education on the benefits and a range of fear factors hold digital and mobile back.
The company estimates more than 80 per cent of transactions in Mexico are made in cash, with reliance on physical money prevalent even in the major urban districts.
Valero said around 20 per cent of Banorte’s customer base use its digital service, despite it launching a virtual card in 2013, developing QR code mobile payments in 2014, and adding upgrades including watch payments and selfie authentication earlier this year.
Though the issues vary, Valero pointed to a lack of widespread knowledge on the banking sector, concerns about the reliability of apps, and suspicion on the use of data gathered by payment processors, specifically around geolocation.
“Digital customers are lower than 20 per cent and it happens in all banks in Mexico,” he said: “Why are people not getting into digital? They have the fear.”
“It’s a long way to digitalise, it’s not doing more partnerships, it’s not the technology, it’s trying to convince the people it’s safer.”
Valero said one problem is most customers did not select their bank and as a result don’t have a “real relationship” with it. Generally people used the bank set by their employer.
He also pointed to concerns any mistakes in online transactions will be attributed to the individual rather than the bank.
“There is very little knowledge. The technology has not been motivating curiosity – people are scared.”
The situation is changing slowly, Valero said, as more innovations are developed and trust increases.