Bank customers in Mexico will soon have two new options to make electronic transfers and payments using a smartphone.
Santander México has launched a pilot program for a service that will allow its customers to send between 10 and 4,000 pesos using WhatsApp, a messaging service owned by Facebook.
The bank said there will be no charges for sending or receiving money and that the only additional app needed is Santander’s SúperMovil.
The service is available to Santander TAP customers now and will be rolled out to all other customers in May.
To make a transfer, customers simply open WhatsApp, choose the contact to whom they wish to send money, enter the peso amount as well as a unique code generated by the Santander app, and hit send.
Santander is the first bank in Mexico to offer its customers the ability to send money using the popular messaging service, which is used by the vast majority of smartphone users.
Recipients of the transfers will need a Santander account, but the bank has developed a new digital account that can be opened quickly on line to receive the funds.
The process will eliminate the need to input interbank CLABEs or account numbers in order to transfer money.
Another new digital financial service that is currently being tested is CoDi, an app that generates bar codes that customers can use to pay for purchases and transfer funds.
CoDi, short for Cobro Digital (Digital Charge), was developed by the Bank of México in conjunction with financial institutions and the Secretariat of Finance (SHCP) and makes use of the electronic interbank payment system known as the SPEI.
Like Santander’s WhatsApp service, people will not be charged for using CoDi.
Financial consumer protection agency Condusef said the aim of the service is to offer essential banking services to the entire population of Mexico “through the use of new technologies.”
However, some parts of the country suffer from poor internet and mobile coverage, which could limit people’s ability to access CoDi on their phones or other devices.
Source: Notimex (sp)