Santander Releases LikeU, a Credit Card with a CauseBy Sofía Hanna | Wed, 09/08/2021 - 09:04
Santander just launched LikeU as part of its efforts to position itself among the increasingly social and environmental minded younger generations. The launch comes at a time when many Mexicans are leaving credit cards aside and would allow the bank to compete with the numerous emerging fintech alternatives.
LikeU is comprised of six different credit cards that support different causes and can be obtained entirely online. LikeU, according to the official Santander press release, is also the first Mexican credit card that can be fully personalized by allowing cardholders to selects from the app the benefits, services, insurance and assistance they want for as long as they need it. “LikeU is a concept fully focused on customer preferences and aspirations, which combines a unique digital experience, the highest security specifications, for the first time financial services on-demand to personalize the card, and a strong social component,” said Matías Núñez Castro, Executive Director of Payment Methods in Santander Mexico, during the presentation of the cards.
Santander’s launch comes at a time when Mexicans are eschewing credit cards and turning to other forms of financing. By June 2021, Mexicans had canceled 1.45 million credit cards, reports the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV). The cancellations are in part a response to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which also led to an overall contraction in credit, as reports Milenio.
While Mexico still lags behind in financial and banking inclusion, its fintech sector is actively growing. “We have seen a wave of growth in the fintech sector in recent years. According to Finnovista, since 2016, the average annual growth of the sector has been 23 percent. There are now over 400 fintech companies in Mexico,” Héctor Cárdenas, CEO and Founder of Conekta, told Mexico Business. Many of the fintech companies making waves in the Mexican market have bet on a fully online model with no intermediaries.
With this new credit card, Santander focuses on those who prioritize convenience through an online experience and ´place more attention to social causes. “[LikeU] supports six of the causes most valued by clients given their social and environmental impact,” said Núñez. The causes supported are:
- LikeU Green: to support reforestation hand in hand with Reforestamos México, which has been working in the country for 19 years.
- LikeU Red: to support the education of girls, boys and teenagers in marginalized areas of the country in partnership with Unicef.
- LikeU Blue: to give resources to clean the seas alongside the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
- LikeU Star: to support minors with cerebral palsy and people with autism with the help of Iluminemos de Azul and APAC, groups that have been supporting these causes in Mexico for 6 and 51 years, respectively.
- LikeU Pink: which, together with Fundación Cima, one of the most recognized groups in the field, will be channeling support for the fight against breast cancer.
- LikeU White: to support the nutrition and health of girls, boys and adolescents with the support of Unicef.