What is the role of Prosa within the Mexican payment system?
Prosa has been in the Mexican market for over 50 years. Prosa was founded as a switch to process transactions for credit, debit, and prepaid cards in Mexico. Our platform enables the transaction from the acquirer to the issuer and back with an authorization or decline in milliseconds. Prosa is also the owner of Carnet, which is a locally-accepted brand since 1968. Now, we are working on a project to take Carnet to the international scene. We have also improved our products' attributes and our pricing to be more competitive. Additionally, in 2019 we launched our innovation lab to provide plug and play digital solutions to our more than 160 clients, including banks and other financial institutions.
What are the main areas of opportunities for payment systems in emerging markets?
Innovation will be key to taking advantage of opportunities in emerging markets. Innovation will not just be an issue for emerging countries but for all countries. There is also a great deal of fintech companies from Mexico and LATAM that rank among the best in the world, with whom we could partner. Prosa must be able to seek the best technology around the world. To do this, we have established an alliance with FinConecta, for a solution called FintSpace, which has been developed by our Innovation Lab, Fintspace is the first marketplace for digital solutions to connect financial and non-financial companies. In Prosa, we will continue to leverage technology - QR code, e-commerce, blockchain, P2P solutions, B2B, and Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Google Pay - to create solutions that are beneficial for businesses.
How have consumption trends changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
The number of face-to-face transactions has fallen. We saw a YoY reduction in April 2020 and expect the same drop for May 2020; however, the transition to the digital world has accelerated adoption times. COVID-19 has shown us that we are capable of adapting. We will have to learn to spend more time at home and be more efficient in terms of working remotely. We have to look at how industries will change. Every activity that requires the physical presence of clients will experience a drop. It has been announced that at least 30,000 businesses are expected to close permanently; hence, Mexico must establish policies on how SMEs need to transform their business to make suitable for the online world.
What projects are you focused on currently?
We will continue to invest in our core systems. We will continue to be active in regard to the technology that is still to come. In disruptive times such as these, there is need to work on reinforcing our protocols, processes, and infrastructure for a safe and solid digital transformation. Prosa has also been heavily focused on taking care of its people and clients. We have invested a great deal of time and effort to ensure that our stakeholders are well. Today, we have 700 people in our team, and 83% of them work from home. We have not experienced any operative impacts, and our people are well and safe. In addition to many other lessons, COVID-19 is teaching the world that remote work will become the new normal.
In what ways will you continue to grow both nationally and internationally?
We will focus on both our national and international growth. We are a Mexican company, and there are many opportunities in Mexico. There is a great deal of interest in the payment service, because most businesses in Mexico continue to be cash only. This cash-only trend means there is a huge opportunity to incorporate new digital payments. So, we need to continue growing the infrastructure for Mexico such as ATMs, POS terminals, and internet services. After our growth in Mexico, we will focus on internationalization in Central and South America, where today we are already servicing some clients.