Caja Cusco has become the first municipal savings bank to meet all the requirements demanded by the Superintendence of Banking and Insurance and AFP (SBS) to offer credit cards nationwide focused on micro and small entrepreneurs. At the end of December, the entity estimates to place 5,000 credit cards. But it won’t be the only one.
The Peruvian Federation of Municipal Savings and Credit Banks (Fepcmac) confirmed to La República that three more entities are preparing to launch their plastic product and that at least two will be this year. One of them will be Caja Huancayo, which will launch its card before December, and they hope to reach 5,000 clients, said Jorge Solís, president of Fepcmac.
For its part, Caja Arequipa announced to this medium that it will launch its card in the first quarter of next year and expect to reach 100,000 customers in the first six months.
“The authorization of Caja Cusco to issue credit cards is a historic milestone since this product is an old aspiration. As a federation we have been managing this possibility several years ago, unfortunately this facility was not given despite the fact that the savings banks are entities with more than 40 years of experience,” Solís said.
Looking for more reach
In the case of Caja Cusco, the strategy is to gain the loyalty of its current clients, since they have identified that 78% of them are clients of other entities due to the lack of products such as credit cards.
“This card has a peculiarity, it is for business clients, but it will have a consumption option. The idea is to calibrate and monitor what the customers’ perception of the card is. We have 400,000 clients, almost 300,000 are from micro and small businesses, if I only give 10%, we can easily manage to place 30,000 cards”, explained Walter Rojas, Central Business Manager of Caja Cusco.
For his part, Wilber Dongo, Central Business Manager of Caja Arequipa, told this medium that his focus will be on a broader audience. “We congratulate Caja Cusco for achieving this authorization; however, the SBS is conditioning this to cards for the mype sector and, as is known, these cards are mostly offered for consumption”.
In that sense, Dongo recognized that Caja Arequipa points to that, to have a comprehensive credit card so that the holder can access consumption.
“We still need to present some formalities. We estimate that in the first quarter of 2023 we would be launching our card on the market, we project to reach 100,000 customers in the first six months”, he commented.
Finally, Socorro Heysen, superintendent of the SBS, recalled that since April 2021 the entity approved the simplified procedure for the authorization of microfinance entities to issue credit cards.
Line of credit for up to S/50,000 for entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs with micro and small businesses will be able to access from S/1,000 to S/50,000 for purchases, working capital and cash availability.
Credit cards in Caja Cusco are now available to its customers. As of October, it will be enabled for the rest of the interested people, and from January unbanked citizens will be able to access it, provided they have mypes.
The interest rate is 29% for purchases (consumption). This is almost a quarter of what banks charge, which, according to data from the SBS, amounts to 121.4%. Meanwhile, for working capital the rate will be 27%; and for cash disposal, 59%.
Jorge Solís Espinoza, president of Fepcmac
“There will be more competition in the market for the benefit of customers; when oligopolies exist, interest rates are high and even prohibitive; Today they will surely go down substantially.”