The expansion of consumer credit accelerated by 21.6% in June, according to the latest report from the Central Reserve Bank of Peru (BCRP). Credits for micro and small businesses have also accelerated in the first quarter of 2022.
Despite the fact that in recent years Peru has shown economic growth and an expansion of the financial system, it is still a country that has a lower degree of bank penetration, assures Enrique Díaz, president of the consulting firm MCIF.
“Not even 50% of the population is banked. So, there is a large opportunity space that is being read by different actors, such as fintech, ”he explained.
The specialist points out that the service offered in the financial system has to be more competitive; that is, make it cheaper and more accessible.
“Immediacy is becoming a very important characteristic, people are gradually getting used to accessing opportunities with their cell phones or computers, and there are offers that respond quickly,” he emphasized.
It is in this context that offers arise to boost the market and promote financial inclusion. Such as credit cards from municipal savings banks, which they aim to reach 10,000 clients this year in Caja Cusco and Caja Huancayo; next year Caja Arequipa will be added, which plans to reach 100,000 people. Likewise, digital wallets such as Yape are preparing their offer of microcredits with which they seek to reach one million users by the end of the year.
In this regard, the former head of the SBS Juan José Marthans specified that the entry of savings banks into the financial market is very positive because the development alternatives for microfinance instruments are being put on a par with banking instruments. “If we want competition, the conditions of equality in terms of the offer of value and offer of credit alternatives must be very similar in both cases,” said the also director of Economics of the PAD of the University of Piura.
Likewise, he highlighted that greater competition is being generated in the market in favor of a very particular client: the micro and small entrepreneur.
Now the question arises, why after the pandemic is this type of credit beginning to be revitalized? “Because the market demands it and because if there is good risk management, there should be no greater chance of deterioration than the quality of the credits means,” Marthans explained.
For the specialist, there is a kind of wave of competition driven by digitization that should continue to be promoted so that the costs of credit tend to be reduced in favor of users, and particularly micro-entrepreneurs.
More competition, lower interest rates
To the extent that institutional schemes are consolidated, such as the concept of a credit company recently created by the SBS, there will also be more formal financing alternatives in favor of mypes. “Competition is going to reduce the cost of credit, without a doubt”, Marthans assured.
Along the same lines, Miguel Vargas Ascenzo, general manager of Asbanc, believed that the entry of Caja Cusco to issue credit cards will be very positive. “The more competition there is, that will improve the service of everyone else. And this is the first box. Others will surely come and that will invigorate the market with the competition”, he concluded.
SBS: security standards for issuing credit cards
María del Socorro Heysen, superintendent of the Superintendency of Banking, Insurance and AFPs (SBS), explained that the use of credit cards is highly transactional, so they seek that the municipal savings banks that issue them comply with all security standards.
“This particularity generates greater exposure to operational risks, linked to cybersecurity, which is why standards are required to prevent card data theft and identity theft to the detriment of users and the reputation of the entity and the system,” he pointed out.