Ángel Sahagún
Co-founder and Director General
albo
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View from the Top

Fintech Lowers Costs, Allows For Free Client Solutions

By Gabriela Mastache | Mon, 05/25/2020 - 17:01

Q: What opportunities does the Mexican market offer to albo and what added value does the company bring to Mexico?

A: Currently, seven out of 10 Mexicans are unbanked, which means only 30 percent of the population in the country has access to financial services. However, many people in Mexico do not access banking services because they believe they are expensive due to the fees involved. This is the biggest opportunity we found at albo: the chance to contribute to the development of the financial inclusion in the country. We give people the opportunity to be part of the financial system by empathizing with them, understanding their needs and generating the necessary confidence so they can start choosing these types of alternatives instead of traditional banking. This way, albo gives to any user absolute freedom over their money in order to buy and spend wisely, as well as transfer and receive money immediately, with no waiting times, calls on hold, lines or bureaucracy.

Q: What are the specific market niches where albo aims to position itself?

A: Our objective is to position as the main technological and digital ally of people who are looking to have total control of their time and are looking for tools to help them achieve this goal.

We are focusing on young people with an average income, starting their financial life and that are interested in knowing how to save and manage their money through digital tools that allow them to achieve early independence.

Q: What are the market niches where albo has found a better reception?

A: We have found that the people that use our service the most are those who do not have easy access to traditional banking in Mexico, such as foreigners or people that do not have enough time and are attracted to a fully digital experience.

Among the factors that have supported our reception in this segment is how easy and free it is to receive, transfer and spend money with albo, not to mention how fast users can open their account from the app in just 5 minutes and receive their debit card at the address of their choice days later. Once activated, they can use it in stores or purchase online, in addition to start tracking their financial movements in real time.

Q: How does albo’s offering differ from traditional financing options and other fintech options?

A: One of our main differentiators against traditional banks is that none of our services charge commissions and we have no branches. For that reason, all the service is provided through the app, which for our clients translates into a better use of their time. Unlike other debit cards, there is no charge for transfers, opening an account, no minimum balances required, monthly or annual fees.

Q: How can albo contribute to further financial education initiatives in the Mexican market?

A: We are committed to financial inclusion. Our objective is that people can understand the value of money and how easy it is to manage their finances. The albo app offers tools such as reports of how our clients are using their money. This way, users have access to information and data to make better decisions and develop savings and spending plans to improve their financial habits. Furthermore, the app also allows people to establish financial objectives and separate money to achieve them.

Q: Given the popularity that has surrounded fintech companies over the past years, how is albo positioning itself?

A: albo has positioned itself as the leading challenger bank in Mexico, offering a 100 percent digital financial experience. We have raised over US$26 million with the objective of attracting human talent and expanding our offer. In 2019, we positioned as the third debit card issuer in the country by opening around 15,000 accounts each month, reflecting a 1,000 percent growth between 2018 and 2019. We have been investing in technology and automation processes to improve the app for it to be 100 times faster and less expensive.

Q: How will albo’s 2019 success in funding rounds impact the company’s operations?

A: Funding rounds allow us to expand and diversify our products and service offering, delivering a better customer experience for our clients. The capital has been used to expand leadership roles and speed up customer acquisition. It has also allowed us to build new features like a savings product that is running already and lets users improve spending and saving habits and an upcoming transparent and easy-to-use lending option for customers who want access to loans.

Q: How do you expect the Fintech Law to impact the Mexican startup ecosystem?

A: The implementation of the Fintech Law has enabled Mexico to become more competitive and position as a pioneer in the Fintech industry. This will bring great benefits to the ecosystem as it will contribute to financial inclusion in the country and will open the opportunity for companies to offer different types of financial services, from credit and debit cards to loans.

 

albo is a Mexican fintech company that started operating in 2016. Its offering includes a debt card and an app for clients to be able to control their expenses. The company provides a completely digital experience.

Photo by:   albo
Gabriela Mastache Gabriela Mastache Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst