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A senior executive says that the electronic payments industry in Colombia is growing in line with expectations, but he remains a little cautious regarding future prospects.
Gustavo Vega, President of ACH Colombia, told La Republica that despite the economic slowdown, the electronic payments industry is growing. He was providing a view on the industry, as well as announcing an alliance with the Agrarian Bank.
Vega believes that the payment industry actually reflects the economy. In the first months of the year, they have hit their budgets, allowing them to grow the business. He said that regarding transfers, some 13 million transactions are being completed per month. And via the payment button, it was 2.5 million operations. But, he admitted that there were a number of concerns on the horizon.
When asked about how much he expected the company to grow, he said that 12% over the year was likely and that they were working hard to achieve that target.
As for factors that are slowing down the adoption of electronic payments, Vega highlighted the key issue was 4×1.000, which is paid every time an electronic payment is made. Other problems included the lack of internet access (though this is changing quickly said Vega) and some fears of security. A final factor is some lack of knowledge when it comes to consumers understanding how they can use electronic payments to buy goods and services.
Vega said that the sector was becoming more competitive, with an increasing number of domestic and overseas companies entering the market, but that the Government is determined to push through the concept of financial inclusion for the population and also reduce the use of cash.
As for the future, the most interesting development is a roll-out of electronic payments to the rural communities. There is a potential 1.5 million families in the countryside which could potentially benefit, located throughout 1,036 municipalities.
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Reference: La República
Image courtesy of Gualberto107 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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