Raymundo Guerrero
Country Manager
Pomelo
/
View from the Top

Mexico’s Blooming Fintechs Need Stronger Infrastructure

By Sofía Hanna | Wed, 08/24/2022 - 10:14

Q: What is the process that Pomelo goes through to adapt its service to local regulations?

A: Pomelo was born from an own frustration. 90 percent of the people working at Pomelo come from building the most relevant Fintechs in Latam. In the process of doing so, we realized that the technological infrastructure that supports the offering of financial services in Mexico and Latam is obsolete, fragmented, and highly expensive. Obsolete because to launch any financial service, it is necessary to connect with providers offering technology that was built 20 years ago; fragmented because it is necessary to connect to different providers in each country while following different regulations in each case and, finally, it is expensive because pricing proposals are not transparent enough. 

 

Pomelo is a technology provider for companies that want to offer financial services. We use new generation technology developed 100 percent in-house. We are focused on issuing and processing credit and debit cards for regulated entities in Mexico. Pomelo holds a Visa and Mastercard principal member license and has built its own processor from scratch..

 

Q: How do you customize your services and how have you developed this capability to make Pomelo even more attractive?

A: As an acquisition and retention strategy, Fintechs put a lot of effort into offering differentiated products. In order to do so, Pomelo helps its Clients to differentiate its product in 3 ways:

  • First, the design of the cards can be fully customized.
  • Second, we have the latest technology to enable cards to have all kinds of uses.
  • Finally, we can make digital or physical cards following any required parameters (i.e. disable international transactions or limit ATM access). We can customize any program as needed as we control our own technology. 

 

Q: In terms of privacy, how does Pomelo guarantee that the information collected is kept secure?

A: We have all the necessary certifications needed, and we apply cybersecurity controls in the critical processes of the operation. We have all the infrastructure required to secure the cardholder's information. Due to our own activity, companies pay close attention to how we handle security.

 

Q: Why should a client trust you with the design and creation of their cards and what impact does this have on the end user?

A: As I mentioned before, 90 percent of our team comes from building the most relevant fintech in Latin America. When a client wants to build a new fintech, the know-how and experience in launching fintech and cards are highly valued by our Clients. When a client is in the valuation process, they must tackle several steps, such as pricing and technology reviews. Pomelo has a robust, experienced commercial team to make this valuation much more effective. 

 

Q: What are your objectives in Mexico and what would make this a successful year?

A: First, we expect to have 50 clients live in Latam, where 40 percent will be based in Mexico. We will offer technology to different sectors such as fintech wallets, crypto wallets, lending solutions, banks, and any other regulated entity offering financial services. Second, we want to expand our product offering in Mexico. Finally, we expect to grow our team in Mexico. Today, we have over 280 employees, of which 25 percent are fully focused on Mexico. We have many open positions and are hiring people living in the country.

 

Q: What role does Mexico play in the company's expectations and plans?

A: Mexico is the second-most important market after Brazil. We live in a country where less than 50 percent of the adult population has access to financial services and where nine out of every 10 payments in Mexico are made in cash. This makes the country an extremely fertile market with numerous growth opportunities. In the last few years, from 2020 to 2021, more than 500 Fintechs were registered, which represents a growth of 16 percent versus the pre-pandemic era. Mexico provides a large opportunity for Pomelo because the fintech sector is growing as the country migrates to the digital world. About 80 percent of the adult population has access to a smartphone with internet access; nevertheless, only 20 percent of them use digital banking. The fintech ecosystem is already growing; we only need to provide the infrastructure to enable all fintech businesses to scale up.

 

Q: Your cards are designed by developers for developers. What specific niche are you looking for? 

A: From the 300 people working for Pomelo, 200 are developers and 30 are product designers. We really consider ourselves a tech company. When a developer evaluates Pomelo, we make sure we speak the language of a tech company. We are developers talking to developers because our technology is made for them.

 

Pomelo provides the infrastructure and technology necessary to launch and scale up financial services in Latin America in a matter of weeks.

 

Sofía Hanna Sofía Hanna Journalist and Industry Analyst