Bancamía launches a debit card for people with low incomes in Colombia

19 August 2014

The new Bancamía MasterCard debit card is a value proposition that will enable small-business owners and savers to access advantages and benefits suitable for their needs, making it easier for them to handle their money and increasing its availability.

The microfinance bank Bancamía has added a new product for business people and savers with low-incomes, aiming to increase the use of electronic services at the base of the economic pyramid.

Bancamía and MasterCard are working together to develop specific tools and a simple and accessible financial solution for business owners and savers, sectors of crucial importance for reinvigorating productive and economic activity in Colombia. The Bancamía MasterCard debit card value proposition offers both security and benefits. The card is also available for the self-employed.

“According to DANE, the Government’s National Statistical Department, 92.6% of companies in Colombia are micro-enterprises, mostly informal businesses. Supporting this sector is essential, as micro-enterprises account for much of Colombia’s economy, generating 50.3% of jobs nationally” according to Juliana Peña, MasterCard’s Vice-president of Commercial Solutions. She added that “these tools will help develop the formal economy, providing the segment with tools to help it grow, spurring the development of Colombia’s economy”.

“Bancamía is sensitive to the needs of this segment, and has designed a solution that offers its clients solutions to optimize their efforts. This service provides greater security and efficiency for productive units, as businesspeople no longer need to travel to make payments or to handle money in cash,” explained Jorge Bernal, Bancamía’s head of Channels.

The more than 650,000 clients using Bancamía savings and credit products can now enjoy a new service that will make their lives easier, by making money more easily available.

Small and medium enterprises are the most important drivers of Colombia’s economy, generating half of the country’s jobs and accounting for 36% of industrial value added, according to figures from the Confecamaras Single Business Register. However, only 18% of this sector has a formal relationship with the financial system in Colombia, limiting their growth and capacity to expand.

“We have designed the Bancamía MasterCard with specific benefits for our clients who are seeking ease-of-use and flexibility. As this segment modernizes it will become much more productive, generating further opportunities for additional growth,” added Olga Lucía Martínez, Bancamía’s Commercial Vice-president.

There are 2,744,374 micro-enterprises in Colombia, and these grew at an annual rate of 14% from 2010 to 2013, according to MasterCard figures. 77% of companies are created by individuals who, in general, need greater financial knowledge and support from public and private bodies to guide them through this process.

The benefits of the new Bancamía MasterCard include insurance policies specifically developed by MasterCard for this segment, such as funeral, accident, education and care for dependent children and 24 hour protection. These meet the needs of business owners and savers today, providing them with greater confidence to develop their businesses.