Business

Three big Argentinian banks join efforts to compete with Mercado Libre

Galicia, Santander and BBVA that the process of setting up a company called Play Digital SA has begun

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During the fourth quarter of 2019, almost 80% of the traffic was carried out through 4G technology in Mexico. Photo: Shutterstock
  • Play Digital’s goal is to develop a payment solution linked to user’s bank accounts. The app’s launch is scheduled to the end of 2020;
  • Rafael Soto, previously from Ualá and Nubank, is the CEO of the new firm.

Eyeing the booming mobile payments business, three of the largest private banks in Argentina (Galicia, Santander and BBVA) announced that “the process of setting up a company called Play Digital SA has begun. Its goal is to develop a payment solution linked to bank accounts that will “significantly improve their payment experience,” they informed Argentina’s officials. 

The alliance will compete directly with Mercado Pago, the financial unit and main source of income of Mercado Libre, Latin America’s biggest e-commerce platform, says La Nación.

READ ALSO: Argentina’s fintech Ualá doubles the number of cards issued in 10 months

The project will market an app for payments and transfers to all clients of state-owned and private banks that join the initiative. The original idea was to launch it in July but the launch was postponed “towards the end of the year.”

According to Clarín, Rafael Soto will be in charge of the new company, as CEO of Play Digital. He is a 39 year-old economist with previous stints in the fintech world, such as CEO of Ualá and later in Brazilian NuBank.

The proposed app will link mobile phone numbers to bank accounts, credit and debit cards. In this way it will be possible to buy using QR code, transfer cash between accounts, recharge prepaid services and pay taxes in a contactless way.