Colombia is one of the countries in Latin America with the most significant potential for entrepreneurship.
Nevertheless, the lack of access to capital in this nation is still a problem that affects millions of small business owners who, lacking credit options in traditional banks, rely on informal loans to be able to finance the growth and sustainability of their companies.
According to data from Colombia’s National Administrative Department of Statistics, informal credit increased by more than 75% in 2021 in the South American country compared to 2019. In 2022, one in four micro-businesses opted for this type of lending.
Within this context, the fintech Plurall and the digital wallet dale! recently, a microcredit program was launched to enable entrepreneurs to access credit more fairly and straightforwardly in Colombia.
Expanding credit opportunities in an underserved market
These companies aim to expand the credit supply in the underserved market, providing solutions for small entrepreneurs to prosper.
With their alliance, both companies seek to reach 5,000 microentrepreneurs by the end of 2023.
The digital financial product designed for this purpose was developed by Plurall, while dale! facilitates the Visa franchise products on which the loans are disbursed.
According to Plurall, through the use of artificial intelligence and the Bodhi Tree data tool, the fintech “has the unique ability to generate microloans in record time,” as a result of which the company will seek to ensure that loan issuance processes are much faster and simplified than those of traditional banking.
Dale!, part of Grupo Aval, is one of the first financial institutions in Colombia to apply the Banking as a Service (BaaS) model, with the ability to integrate with other digital platforms to open electronic deposits, enable balances, or issue cards.
Many traditional financial institutions in LatAm tend to have lengthy, bureaucratic, and costly credit review and approval processes. This is partly due to the historically poor access that many communities in the region have had to traditional finance.
Plurall and dale!’s proposal seeks to create a new opportunity to streamline processes and minimize requirements so that any micro-entrepreneur can access a fair credit in hours, subsequently increasing the regional banking penetration rate.
Helping small businesses prosper in Colombia
In a statement, the CEO of dale! José Manuel Ayerbe said the new project would “complement our value offer with partners that allow us to reach innovative proposals with a social background, such as Plurall, with whom we support Colombian micro-entrepreneurs to access the financing they need.”
The executive also stressed that, with the alliance of dale! and Plurall, “millions of small merchants such as hairdressers, shopkeepers, hardware dealers, among countless professionals,” will be able to “build a credit history” and access financial solutions with more security.
On the other hand, Federico Gómez, Co-Founder and CEO of Plurall said in his statement that the partnership would facilitate credit analysis processes for those who need it most.
“Last year, we managed to register almost 9,000 micro-entrepreneurs on our waiting list, and for those we approved, we disbursed credits in 10 days. This year we will approve in 8 minutes and disburse in 10 minutes, a great change for a sector that urgently needs it.”
Jorge C. Carrasco is a Contributing Reporter at Fintech Nexus. He reports on fintech, economy, banking, startups, and technology, covering the most impactful stories from a Latin American perspective.
He has contributed to several international publications, such as Foreign Policy, The Spectator Australia, Estadão, Época, Washington Examiner, and Quillette. Originally from Havana, Cuba, he is now based in Brazil.