Fintech companies are gaining ground on traditional banks in the offer of digital products for the management of personal finances among adolescents from 13 to 17 years, a segment that, hand in hand with online games and the advancement of technology, demand to manage money in another way they receive from their dependent adults.
Adolescents are authorized by the Central Bank (BCRA) to be joint owners of a savings account opened by their tutors since 2016, a regulation that was expanded in 2019 so that they could be holders full of a free bank account in pesos, with which they can pay services or consumption electronically, withdrawals, transfers and, also, investments in traditional fixed terms and UVA.
In these years, the offer of products for this sector began to diversify from the hand of applications for the cell phone that allow to manage prepaid debit cards, a proposal to which fintech companies such as Ualá, Naranja X, BKR and Paymóvil they pointed with greater emphasis.
“The generation that today is between 13 and 17 years old was born in an environment in which handling money digitally is normal, everyday. This makes it unnecessary to make any effort in terms of communication, they already know it, you just have to give them access to these services“Sebastián Bottcher, CEO of Nubi, a fintech that this week launched its own application for teenagers to manage money from their cell phones, told Télam.
Mercadopago contributed to the popularization of mobile payments. Photo Maxi Failla
In that sense, he argued that “it is a generation that also takes online shopping as very natural, not just tangible products, but also everything that has to do with gaming or entertainment, such as playing PlayStation, Spotify or Netflix “.
Industry sources assured Télam that the consumption of young people is seen, above all, in the contracting of music, series, gaming and technology platform services, in addition to cell phone recharges and SUBE card and food delivery.
According to Bottcher, these applications are “highly valued by young people who seek to take the first steps in managing their money and independently access your most frequent consumptions“, but also” for their parents, who are offering their children a simple, friendly and very easy to use to control your expenses “.
One of the leading firms in the under-18s segment is Ualá, which, since its launch in 2017, has activated more than 200,000 reloadable cards for teens – 7% of the more than 3 million cards issued in the country – of which 80% live outside the AMBA area.
Pierpaolo Barbieri, founder of Ualá, together with Ignacio Giménez Zapiola, from Bmo and Federico Cofman, from Payway, in a talk organized by Clarín. Photo Mario Quinteros
“It seemed relevant to us to make a specific proposal for the sector that, although it already had a specific regulation, was not an audience to be targeted. That is why we proposed a product that does not have differences with the one for adults, but it does have to be authorized by their tutors, “they explained to Télam from Ualá.
In this regard, they assured that the product “became very strong” in this group since “they value having autonomy, a card in their name and not an extension of their parents’ account” which, in turn, they can control the money your children spend Since, being prepaid, you can only use the money that you deposit.
Banks don’t want to stay
Traditional banks are studying how to deal with fintech. Photo Bloomberg
back In the race to retain the young public, private banks such as the Santander, Macro, BBVA, HSBC, Itaú and Credicoop, in addition to other audiences such as Town, the Nation, the Province and the Bank of Cordova, although they run behind.
In a survey among financial institutions, many of them admitted having recently launched products for this public and that they still do not have a significant level of clients in this sector, but that the objective is to grow in the coming months.
Among these, Banco Santander has its rechargeable card available NOT GOING, which aims at a first bankarization of the youngest and to help their parents in organizing the money they give them for their day to day life.
“In this segment we do not have traditional accounts, but what we do is bank them with this type of prepaid cards. We already have more than 50 thousand active cards“, they pointed out from Santander about the proposal that, also, offers up to 30% discount on consumption of clothing, footwear, bookstores, accessories and gastronomy.
In the case of public banking, Banco Nación (BNA) has three types of products available for minors: savings banks in the name of adults with minors authorized to pay and withdrawals, UVA savings accounts unavailable until they reach the age of majority, and full savings banks for adolescents.
“We have about 1,500 accounts open with these different modalities. What we seek is to stimulate the first steps in managing money and to help in an inclusion process. financial among minors “, They explained from the BNA.
The battle is open and, although fintech applications lead, banks seem to want to capture a public that does not want to know anything with bank accounts or traditional procedures.