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Where Cash Is King, the Government Wants Everyone to Pay By App (Bloomberg)

October 18, 2019

From the article:

Now, the country’s government and big banks are trying to get Mexicans to kick their cash habit. A national program called called CoDi -- short for cobro digital, or digital payment -- aims to vastly expand electronic purchases, bring a new client base to financial companies, and, most importantly, help the government crack down on illicit transactions and boost tax collection.

“CoDi really is trying to reach the unbanked but is, for all practical purposes, formulated for the banks,” said Liliana Rojas-Suarez, the Director of the Latin America Initiative at the Washington-based Center for Global Development. “You have to have a bank account.”

But Mexican citizens are also wary of corruption, high bank fees and troubles within the financial system -- another part of the reason they stick with cash.

“It’s not that you don’t want to have an account or do more transactions,” said Rojas-Suarez. “It’s that you feel more insecure, you’d rather keep your money with you and not give it to somebody else.”

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Photo of Liliana Rojas-Suarez
Senior Fellow and Director of the Latin America Initiative