Jaime Márquez
Director of Business Development
Expert Contributor

Two Years Later, Where Does CoDi Stand?

By Jaime Márquez | Wed, 11/03/2021 - 09:18

In 2018, the Bank of Mexico (Banxico) announced its electronic payment platform called Cobro Digital (CoDi). It was designed so that users could charge and make payments through their smartphone or directly from the internet. CoDi is an additional feature to the Interbank Electronic Payment System (SPEI).

During its launch, Jaime Cortina, then-general director of operations and payment systems of Banxico, mentioned that one of the main objectives was that the client could scan a QR code and start the collection or payment transaction without using cards or cash.

The implementation of CoDi meant a great challenge for the participants of the SPEI  since new obligations were established to guarantee the correct functioning and adoption of the CoDi platform. These requirements focused on establishing high security requirements and guaranteeing the speed and quality of the service.

The pandemic and the growth of digital payments

When CoDi began to operate, a very important development occurred: the COVID-19 pandemic paralyzed everyone but provided the opportunity to accelerate the growth of e-commerce and digital payments. As a new tool, CoDi had not lived up to its expected growth. During the first year, 5.1 million bank accounts enrolled, according to official data from Banxico, just about 30 percent of the goal that had been set. But the pandemic represented a brake on the implementation of the platform.

According to data from Banxico, as of Sept. 28, 2020, 251,352 accounts had made at least one payment through CoDi and 213,521 had charged funds. More than 4 million downloads were made on the Android operating system and 1.5 million were made through iOS. Banxico also announced that in 2019 there were around 150 companies, at different levels of development, to be able to apply CoDi in their functions.

2021 CoDi Wants to Be Massive and in Small Shops

CoDi represents one more digital payment collection alternative for businesses, whose main benefit is that it is contactless, since transactions are by a collection prompt or by scanning a QR code, helping maintain a healthy distance, made mandatory by the pandemic and which businesses and consumers want. The second benefit is that all operations are liquid, including the merchant’s charges, so that the transaction reaches your account immediately; you do not have to wait 24 or 48 hours to see the payments reflected. The third benefit is that there is no commission charged for using CoDi.

When people, especially those owners of small businesses such as grocery stores, workshops or fonditas, see the benefits of implementing this new way of charging for their business, the growth will be exponential. What we need now is an extensive dissemination campaign to continue enrolling small businesses and take the next step to CoDi being present in the large self-service chains. The support of national associations, such as the National Association of Self-Service and Departmental Stores (ANTAD), will be crucial for mass implementation, as well as the participation of state and local governments that allow their services to charge through CoDi.

Sistema de Transferencias y Pagos” (STP), as a participant of the SPEI, has supported CoDi since its creation and launch, and we bet that its use will be massive, from the corner store to the large commercial chains and thus improve financial inclusion, which is so necessary in our country.

Current Numbers

According to Banxico, in September of this year there were just over 10.7 million validated accounts while 2.9 million operations. Those figures are below those estimated two years ago, because in 2019 it was expected that by September 2020 there would be 18.1 million registered users and almost 28 million transfers.

Between Sept. 30, 2019, and Sept. 24, 2021, the totals operated by CoDi amounted to MX$2.41 billion (US$119 million), with an average of MX$809 (US$40) per transaction. Android continues to dominate in CoDi, as there were 10.4 million users with phones equipped with this system and 3.3 million on iOS.

Among the public services that already accept payment with CoDi is the Metrobus in Mexico City. Public services, such as water, electricity and different governmental procedures, such as driver's licenses, have yet to accept this form of digital payment.

How to Use CoDi

The people who charge must have an account with a participant offering the service. They must also have one of the following means to generate charge messages:

  • A mobile device that has the application installed with the CoDi functionality that generates charge messages, either developed by the bank of the recipient of the resources, by a technology company that provides this type of application or the one provided by the Bank of Mexico.
  • Ability to generate and print static QR codes.
  • Computer developments capable of generating charge messages through the internet.
  • Payers must have a mobile device that has the app installed from their financial institution that is participating in CoDi as well as a deposit account at the same institution.
  • In both cases, those who charge and those who pay must register on the CoDi platform; this is done by installing the application for CoDi payments from your financial institution.
Photo by:   Jaime Márquez