In a difficult time for companies financial technology (financial and technological), due to the increase in interest rates throughout the world, a new player accelerates its presence in Argentina. This is Clave, a virtual wallet created by former bankers Pablo Pizzimbono, William Kelly, Marcelo Pizzimbono and Gabriel Martino, and who recently launched their app.
Unlike other virtual wallets, Clave broke into the market with an aggressive strategy of granting loans to state employees in order to incorporate them as clientseven without knowing your credit history. The executives say that in order to do so, they used their professional experience in banking to design the necessary criteria that must be applied to grant loans.
The company began operating in the country more than a year ago, but without dealing directly with clients, but rather through mutuals and cooperatives, which were given the technology and funding to act as collection agents. In this way, granted 14,000 loans for an average amount of $62,000 at approximate annual rates of 95% and terms of 23 months.
To grant these loans, the financial technology raised funds from the market through the issuance of two trusts, where raised capital for a total of $901 million. Soon, they are about to launch a third trust to expand the client portfolio. In particular, are working with 20 state entitiesprovincial and municipal. They chose to start with this segment, since they are stable jobs, whose income is tied to inflation and where they can get paid through organizations.
“Once Argentina is more stable, we are going to expand to other profiles”says Clave CEO Pablo Pizzimbono. And he explains: “For now there is not a large financial business in the country, we are committed to creating the customer base.”
the company already has 76 employees, of which 60 work in Argentina and support the operations they have in Colombia and Mexicocommanded by Matías Brustein, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO). It is expected that in the coming months, the application will also be launched in those countries, since for now they operate in association with other organizations, such as in Argentina.
“Unlike other competitors, we say go to market offering loansthat it is an instrument with better profit margins and that allows customer loyalty through credit”, says Pizzimbono.
In the application, however, only those who work for the State will be allowed to request a loan; for the rest of the users, it is a virtual wallet that allows you to make payments, transfers and have a prepaid card. In a few months, the option to invest through the application in common investment funds will be enabled.
Clave’s virtual wallet comes with another differential with respect to its competitors and that is that it grants a token key, which will work through technology block chainthe same one that gives life to cryptocurrencies. This technology works like a great personal diary on the network, where all the information is encrypted and cannot be altered.
Those who download the application and register for the first time, will get records that can be exchanged for discounts. The objective of presenting this technology is to anticipate what they believe the future will be. “We want Clave to be the wallet we used in the 80swhere the documents, the money and the entrance of the theater or the recital were kept. We believe that in the future blockchain technology will be used to receive movie tickets, have the property title or guard the receipt of any service. We are investing in projects of the future to test, even if they are not very applicable today”, explains Pizzimbono.
The company’s CEO made a career at JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and HSBC banks, where he worked together with Gabriel Martino, former CEO of HSBC in Argentina. Both decided to launch Clave when they saw how little banking there is in Latin America. “The region is a market of 640 million people, where less than 20% use credit cards and only 50% are banked, when 67% (430 million) are between 15 and 65 years old. Currently, 72% of the total population uses smartphones and this percentage will increase to 80% in three years”, they explained, about the great opportunity they see.