EconomyWhy are so many Mexicans still wary of paying...

Why are so many Mexicans still wary of paying digitally?

(Expansión) – Although the use of cash continues to be the preferred method for Mexicans to carry out their daily operations, digital payments have been gaining ground, especially in the last two years.

In fact, there are already initiatives in the country that seek to revolutionize payment methods and replace the use of cash. One of them is CoDi (Digital Collection), a platform developed by the Bank of Mexico that facilitates payment and collection transactions from mobile phones, through electronic transfers, anytime, anywhere and free of charge.

The adhesion is such that, according to figures from the entity, at present, the total number of accounts that CoDi actively uses amounts to more than 13 million, and more and more users are choosing to reduce the use of cash in your daily payments, opting for digital collection methods.

However, despite this progress, the great challenge remains in being able to overcome the barriers to its full adoption, emphasizing its benefits, such as simplicity, security and speed and, above all, access to financial services for those who are not within the banking system.

So what does it take to drive digital payments forward?

– Bancarization for greater adoption : in Mexico there are still barriers to entry to basic financial services. In line with this, the Association of Banks of Mexico ( ) indicated that in 2021, 53% of adults lacked a bank account and that 7 out of 10 still did not have access to credit.

Therefore, banking has a unique opportunity through technology to provide those who have geographical, economic and social limitations with greater and easier access to financial products, thus integrating them into the system.

– Promotion of digital wallets: to promote digital transactions in the country, it is very important to promote the development of digital wallets that allow users to make payments 100% digitally. It is also essential to educate about its benefits for both users and businesses and thus achieve greater acceptance.

– Digital acquisition, key to the development of local businesses: a means of payment has value if there is a person willing to accept it on the other side of the counter. Because although today users are willing to use cash less and less, they are forced to withdraw money from an ATM on a daily basis to buy in a nearby store due to the lack of adoption of digital collection methods. And this mainly has to do with the fact that the traditional payment operating model, defined 40 years ago using point of sale terminals, is expensive.

At this point, digital ‘acquisition’ becomes essential, since it is the solution that allows businesses to accept mobile payments either in person with a QR code, or remotely with links to pay, among others. These mobile transactions help merchants to break down the barriers of traditional payments, allowing them to reduce the crediting period of funds, reduce abusive commissions for using physical payment terminals and achieve greater opportunities for their business.

– Greater security measures against fraud: the main obstacle that limits the use of digital financial services is the fear on the part of users of being victims of scams. In line with this, according to data from the National Commission for the Protection and Defense of Financial Services Users (Condusef), in Mexico last year there was a 52% increase in complaints of internet banking fraud with respect to to 2020.

Given this, it is essential to promote education and awareness of the risks that users run in relation to the handling of their information and personal data to prevent falling into scams. In turn, it is important that financial institutions are nurtured by digital security tools that protect daily operations. For example, using solutions such as biometrics and the Soft-token , the so-called “dynamic duo” against bank fraud.

Integration of incentive programs : the generation of points for each operation carried out to exchange them for products or cashback , special promotions, deferred payments, among others, are key tools that financial institutions must implement for greater adoption of digital payments.

Taking these factors into account, we can see that it is key for all industry players to work together to continue promoting digitization and innovation in the financial system in Mexico and the region.

On the one hand, due to the demand of users who are increasingly looking for more practicality in their daily operations and, on the other, because in order to move cash -and all the risks associated with it- it is necessary to grow in the acceptance of digital payments, which provide benefits and opportunities for the local economy, especially in local businesses where penetration still has a long way to go.

Editor’s note: Marcelo Fondacaro is CCO (Chief Commercial Officer) of Veritran. He has a degree in Systems and Business Administration, graduated from John F. Kennedy University. He has more than 30 years of experience leading digital banking projects worldwide, involved in technology and business areas. Follow him on . The opinions published in this column belong exclusively to the author.

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