- Between 2017 and 2021, the percent of the population that made payments via mobile or internet grew 23% in Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, in 2021, 78% of the population had at least one account in a banking or financial institution or in a mobile money service.
- Minka is an open network that enables organizations to publish and move money in real time, creating the largest real-time interbank transfer infrastructure in Latin America. Through its platform, it has processed more than 18 million online transactions, assisting more than 2 million users.
Bogota, July 2022. Digital payments in Latin America and the Caribbean are increasingly being accepted, reflecting collective efforts to reduce the use of cash, especially from the Fintech sector. In 2021, 58% of the population in the region made digital payments, while 78% had their own, or shared, at least one account in a banking, financial institution, or mobile money service. Also, according to the World Bank, between 2017 and 2021 the number of people who made payments via mobile or internet grew by 23%.
Despite these indicators, according to Fidelity National Information Services, a payment services provider, cash was the most widely used means of payment in 2021, accounting for 36% of all transactions in Latin America and the Caribbean. This shows that access to new digital money services in the region still represents an opportunity.
To respond to this problem and encourage more people to access digital payments and reduce the use of cash in their transactions, Minka, a Colombian fintech company founded in 2018, created the fastest-growing technological infrastructure for interbank transfers in Latin America.
Minka allows organizations to publish and move money in real time. The company has improved the way people interact with money in Colombia and is now building an open network to extend the benefits of its services globally. The network was designed to connect traditional standalone systems using blockchain concepts and modern application programming interfaces (APIs) that help to simplify complex money movements. The platform currently enables online and real-time payments immediately, securely, at no cost, and only requires a cell phone number, allowing users to replace cash.
Paola Sánchez, co-founder of Minka, said that Minka’s objective is to “improve the way people interact with money”, with the priority of serving the high level of unbanked people in the region. According to figures from 2021, in Latin America and Caribbean regions, only 28% of the population had a credit card, which shows that there is still a significant percentage of people without access to banking services and products.
Currently, the platform’s interaction capacity allows financial institutions, fintechs, and clearing houses to create new products such as immediate interbank transfers, mobile wallets, as well as collect taxes online, among other services. These services can be set up in just a few days and do not require developing infrastructure.
“So far, we have processed about 18 million online transactions for over 2 million users. Minka’s average monthly transaction growth has been 35%, and we project that to increase 5 percentage points by the end of 2022,” said Sánchez.
Transfiya, which is Minka’s main solution, is an interbank transfer service that was enabled in collaboration with ACH Colombia. It has more than 4.4 million active cellular lines, and has direct read and write access to 80% of bank accounts in Colombia. It is currently the largest real-time P2P payment project in the country and has great potential in Latin America.
Minka raised US$24 million after an investment round led by Tiger Global Management and Kaszek funds, which have been behind several of the largest startup transactions in Latin America. With these resources, Minka plans to continue scaling its open payment network, which today allows customers of mainstream financial institutions in Colombia, and users of the most recognized digital wallets, to transfer money in real time. The company seeks to expand its open network to publish money in the payment cloud to Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Ana Sofia Fraser
Tel: +52 55. 2563. 3172
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