Four years later. At the beginning of 2017. Yellow pepper already had more than 6.6 million monthly active users in these countries and managed a volume of 380 million annual transactions. Says elkiner. Bet however. His company wasn’t the only one to glimpse the promising future of mobile payments five years ago. At that time. The banks that bet on mobile technology also began to develop their own applications. One of them was the mexican citibanamex. Which launched its system together with telcel in 2012: transfer banamex. Today. Its more than 5 million users carry out 26.6 million monthly transactions with an average volume of more than us$835 million.
One of citbanamex’s Mexico phone number rivals in mexico. Bbva bancomer. Followed the same path in 2015. Its director of new digital businesses. Carlos lópez-moctezuma. Assures that of the 18 million clients that the bank has today. 4 million already carry out operations through mobile devices. “now we are developing platforms so that all the bank’s clients can use mobile payments.” lopez-moctezuma tells bbc mundo. “financial inclusion” and distrust although mobile payments are advancing rapidly in many latin american countries. López-moctezuma believes that much remains to be done.
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“in latin america there is an issue of financial inclusion pending.” “although the penetration of smartphones in all social strata is key to the development of the sector. An offer with added value is needed to convince the public of the benefits offered by mobile payments.” an argument shared by elkiner. “i think it’s a matter of acceptance. People still feel that you can’t pay everywhere with your cell phone.” “so why switch to mobile payments when i can still pay by card or cash?” in addition. He affirms that it is a matter of lack of confidence in the systems. “50% of people trust mobile payments. While the other 50% are still afraid to put their card in their cell phone.” says elkiner. China.
A mirror for latin america both elkiner and lópez-moctezuma believe that china is a model for how payments will work in the future. In the asian giant. The leading company is alipay. Launched in 2004 by the alibaba group. At the end of 2013. When the citibanamex system had been up and running for less than a year and bbva had not yet made its payment application available. Alipay already had more than 300 million registered users. That year. Its clients made 2.790 million transactions with a volume that reached us$148.000 million. In october 2016. Alipay already had more than 400 million users and controlled half of the chinese market. According to the south china morning post.
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Mobile payments have become so widespread in the asian giant that consumption habits in the country have changed. And it seems that when buying a bottle of water. Chinese citizens prefer to scan a code with their mobile phone rather than take out a coin. What advantages does mobile payment really offer compared to other systems? Systems such as those of yellow pepper. Bbva bancomer and transfer banamex allow the use of any banking product through the cell phone to carry out transactions using short distance communication (nfc) technology.