Tribal and Visa partner to launch credit cards for Latin American SMBs

February 28, 2022
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Tribal, a B2B platform with payment and financing solutions for small and medium-sized businesses, has closed a partnership with Visa that will support the issuance of corporate credit cards to small and medium-sized Latin American and Caribbean businesses.

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The companies' rapprochement began last year, when the US fintech launched Visa-flagged credit cards for local businesses in Mexico. "It is very important to have an alliance across Latin America. So we decided to close a regional partnership to have Visa's support in all the countries where we are present," says Sonia Michaca, Tribal Latam's regional manager, in an interview with Startups.

The news comes just 1 month after the startup, which already has operations in Colombia, Mexico, Chile and Peru, landed in Brazil, boosted by a $60 million Series B led by SoftBank Latin America Fund. The company was born in California in 2019 and, 2021, multiplied by 90 the gross transaction volume in Latin America.

In early February, Sonia had already advanced to Startups that the fintech's solutions would help Brazilian companies solve some of their main difficulties, since "many Brazilian SMEs need financing, but can't access it or find a lot of bureaucracy for approval from traditional banks."

Hand in hand


"The opportunity to [work with] SMEs is huge across Latin America. With Visa, we plan to take advantage of this potential and increase companies' access to our products," says Sonia.

This is Tribal's 1st partnership in Latin America. According to the regional manager, there is no exclusivity agreement with Visa: if it wants, the fintech is free to team up with other companies in the sector. But this should not happen in the near future, since the fintech is focused on working with the financial services giant in all countries in the region.

"It is a very innovative company, which will help us offer better and more modern services," he says. What products are they going to launch together? That is not yet defined. "The focus now is on cards, but we are open to identifying other opportunities for SMEs in each country in Latin America," says the executive.

The goal of the partnership, according to Sonia, is to contribute to the growth of small and medium-sized businesses and to benefit entrepreneurs who still don't have access to credit, in addition to diversifying the types of transactions and continuing to promote all-digital payments. Hand in hand with Visa, the startup's projection is to grow globally by up to 2 digits per month.

Updates about Brazil


Tribal considers that, although recent, operations in Brazil look promising. In February, the company made a soft launch, starting to analyze the pains and potential of Brazilian customers and to get to know the market closely.

The initial focus, according to Sonia, is startups, digital companies and other fintechs that "can adopt the financial solutions more easily than traditional companies," says the executive. "We have a good acceptance of our solution in this specific market, similar to when we started in Mexico. Then, we will move on to traditional SMEs, because we know that the big opportunity in Brazil is in this segment," she explains.

Still in 2022, the startup expects to expand to Argentina, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Panama, already offering local customers the option of a Visa flag credit card.

Las opiniones compartidas y expresadas por los analistas son libres e independientes, y de ellas son responsables sus autores. No reflejan ni comprometen el pensamiento u opinión de Latam Fintech Hub, por lo cual no pueden ser interpretadas como recomendaciones emitidas por la platafomra. Esta plataforma es un espacio abierto para promover la diversidad de puntos de vista sobre el ecosistema Fintech.

The companies' rapprochement began last year, when the US fintech launched Visa-flagged credit cards for local businesses in Mexico. "It is very important to have an alliance across Latin America. So we decided to close a regional partnership to have Visa's support in all the countries where we are present," says Sonia Michaca, Tribal Latam's regional manager, in an interview with Startups.

The news comes just 1 month after the startup, which already has operations in Colombia, Mexico, Chile and Peru, landed in Brazil, boosted by a $60 million Series B led by SoftBank Latin America Fund. The company was born in California in 2019 and, 2021, multiplied by 90 the gross transaction volume in Latin America.

In early February, Sonia had already advanced to Startups that the fintech's solutions would help Brazilian companies solve some of their main difficulties, since "many Brazilian SMEs need financing, but can't access it or find a lot of bureaucracy for approval from traditional banks."

Hand in hand


"The opportunity to [work with] SMEs is huge across Latin America. With Visa, we plan to take advantage of this potential and increase companies' access to our products," says Sonia.

This is Tribal's 1st partnership in Latin America. According to the regional manager, there is no exclusivity agreement with Visa: if it wants, the fintech is free to team up with other companies in the sector. But this should not happen in the near future, since the fintech is focused on working with the financial services giant in all countries in the region.

"It is a very innovative company, which will help us offer better and more modern services," he says. What products are they going to launch together? That is not yet defined. "The focus now is on cards, but we are open to identifying other opportunities for SMEs in each country in Latin America," says the executive.

The goal of the partnership, according to Sonia, is to contribute to the growth of small and medium-sized businesses and to benefit entrepreneurs who still don't have access to credit, in addition to diversifying the types of transactions and continuing to promote all-digital payments. Hand in hand with Visa, the startup's projection is to grow globally by up to 2 digits per month.

Updates about Brazil


Tribal considers that, although recent, operations in Brazil look promising. In February, the company made a soft launch, starting to analyze the pains and potential of Brazilian customers and to get to know the market closely.

The initial focus, according to Sonia, is startups, digital companies and other fintechs that "can adopt the financial solutions more easily than traditional companies," says the executive. "We have a good acceptance of our solution in this specific market, similar to when we started in Mexico. Then, we will move on to traditional SMEs, because we know that the big opportunity in Brazil is in this segment," she explains.

Still in 2022, the startup expects to expand to Argentina, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Panama, already offering local customers the option of a Visa flag credit card.

Las opiniones compartidas y expresadas por los analistas son libres e independientes, y solamente sus autores son responsables de ellas. No reflejan ni comprometen el pensamiento o la opinión del equipo de Latam Fintech Hub y, por lo tanto, no pueden interpretarse como recomendaciones emitidas por la plataforma. Esta plataforma es un espacio abierto para promover la diversidad de puntos de vista en el ecosistema Fintech.
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