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Rappi: Credit card ventures see slow take off

May 26, 2023

By Antony Pinedo

We look at Rappi's credit card numbers in the region, which have lagged the rapid growth enjoyed by other digital lenders.

When Colombian super app Rappi made its debut in the credit card segment more than two years ago, expectations were high given its rapid growth in other areas, but the results of its lending foray trail those of other newcomers to the digital financial services industry.

Rappi entered the Mexican market with its card product in January 2021 in alliance with Banorte. As of the first quarter it had some 867,000 users, an increase of 352,000 from the same period a year earlier. Transport and delivery app rival Didi, meanwhile, issued some 5 million loans in Mexico during the same period, while Nubank signed up almost 3 million customers for its credit card in the last three years.

In Chile, Rappi partnered with the local arm of Brazilian lender Itaú to issue credit cards. In the space of about a year, the joint venture has placed some 20,000 cards, according to data published by the Diario Financiero newspaper.

“We’re taking the first steps. It’s too early to draw conclusions from here for the longer term,” Jorge Novis, Itaú Chile’s digital business development leader, told iupana last week during the Chile Fintech Forum.

“The business is still a baby, but it’s doing well. We’ve only launched one product under this alliance, which is the credit card. Obviously there are plans to expand it with additional products,” he added.

In Colombia, Rappi’s credit card alliance with Banco Davivienda, which it launched in 2020, had reportedly yielded 230,000 users by the end of last year. Nubank has issued 800,000 cards in Colombia in the last two years.

In Peru, Luis Felipe Castellanos, the CEO of the company’s local card partner Interbank, indicated last year that the results of the tie-up had been disappointing so far.

Rappi did not respond to iupana’s requests for comment on the performance of its lending business.

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