Bank credit to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) does not live its best moment. After reaching its peak in 2014 (when the business portfolio stood at 25.3%, including microenterprises), it has been decreasing until reaching 17.7%, according to figures from the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) to November 2018.
The land that the banks are losing is, however, a fertile field for fintech companies and multi-object financial corporations (sofomes), which seek to gain participation in that market.
“It was a very complicated sexennium. The non-payment to suppliers was unleashed nationally. In insecurity, being an entrepreneur meant being subjected to violence and extortion “, highlights Claudio Kandel, CEO of DiSí, an electronic factoring platform that dispersed 800 million pesos in capital for work in 2018.
That was a tough year for SMEs In addition, there was no progress in the credit, says Filiberto Castro, director of growth of the fintech Konfío, which granted more than 1,500 million pesos in loans last year.
In Mexico there are 4.2 million companies, of which 99.9% are micro, small and medium enterprises (mipymes), according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi). Of this total, just over 400,000 had some credit contracted with commercial banks, according to data from the Bank of Mexico (Banxico) as of July 2017.
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To reach out to microenterprises and complement the supply of credit, the federal government announced the Tandas for Wellbeing loan program. “The need for financing is so great that, despite the programs that the government launches, there will always be a lot to do in Mexico,” says Juan Diego Gómez, co-founder and director of Proyecto Pyme, which grants loans of up to 650,000 pesos to companies.
Fintech granted 350 credits in 2018 and plans to double that number this year. One of its growth levers will be its Nauphilus software, which evaluates online the risk profile of its clients and with which seven financial institutions already work, says the entrepreneur.
The Association of Banks of Mexico (ABM) also wants to pay to the cause of SMEs. The agency has proposed to strengthen 250,000 companies, although it has not given details of how it plans to do so. Expansion requested an interview with a spokesperson to know the details, but to date there has been an answer.
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“We are going to take advantage of everything banks leave behind. We want to place 3,500 million pesos in credits with 300,000 pesos tickets, “says Castro, who estimates to award 1,000 credits this year. This will represent a growth of 300% compared to 2018. To achieve this, the executive anticipates that he will launch three products to the market, two of personal loans and another one through an alliance with an international payment platform.
For Guillermo Hernández, co-founder and director of Aspiria, a sofom that grants loans of up to 250,000 pesos, the demand for business financing will increase this year. “The panorama in 2019 is great. The country is modernizing and will not stop growing, “says the businessman.
The company placed 136 million pesos in loans in 2018 through 1,400 loans. Hernández is confident in granting 340 million pesos this year, supported by the technology and algorithms of client selection that his platform counts on. “We also closed a deal with a public company (listed on the stock exchange) of the construction sector to finance its customers,” he says.