Digital bank Stori, which is based in Mexico City, aims to reach customers with minimal access to financial services.
Recent research highlights the problems the bank is attempting to solve. According to data from CB Insights, less than 3% of the poorest Mexicans have access to a credit card, as opposed to more than 15% of the country’s highest earners.
The company this month raised $10 million in Series A2 funding, bringing the total amount raised to $17 million, supported by Bertelsmann Investments, Source Code Capital and Vision Plus Capital.
Stori co-founder Marlene Garayzar said the digital platform helps customers keep track of their transactions and disconnect their cards if they suspect fraud.
“Apart from being a payment method, Stori is a financial tool that gives users better control over their expenses,” Garayzar told Bank Innovation in a Spanish-language interview. “By living in a digital ecosystem, the card can be easily managed from the app, where you can make [payment] requests, transactions, check the account statement and [money] movements.”
Stori co-founder Manuel Medina said Mexico faces persistent financial inclusion challenges, and Stori’s digital credit cards are necessary because most adults in Mexico cannot access credit.
“We want to bring products and services to allow Mexicans to start their financial history and reach personal goals over time,” Medina said in a Spanish-language interview. “Our vision of financial inclusion is to give loans to people with no history, or even poor qualifications, to help them repair or create credit history.”
The company, which was founded in 2018, would not comment on customer numbers, but said it will use the new funding to fold in new digital capabilities, including artificial intelligence and data analytics.
Recent research from Nasdaq suggested Mexico’s high unbanked population, along with enabling fintech legislation, has created new opportunities for Mexico’s fintech sector. It noted that the country is a regional fintech leader, with more than 273 ventures operating in the country. Mexico’s growing digital payments infrastructure is supported by a QR code-based system set up by the country’s central bank last year, the study observed.
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