Retailer targets Mexican Americans for digital wallet


The largest department store in Mexico wants to use brand recognition to position itself as a worthy place to keep and manage money for Mexican Americans.

Grupo Coppel, parent company to the Coppel chain of department stores, launched a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-insured mobile wallet app Tuesday that offers users digital and physical debit cards and remittance services.

Opening an account at traditional financial institutions in the U.S. requires a U.S. ID, leaving some Mexican Americans unbanked. The company is calling the new service Coppel Access.

Alviere is Coppel’s embedded finance platform provider. It’s FDIC-insured through its banking partner Community Federal Savings Bank in Queens, New York.

“According to the FDIC, ‘don’t trust banks’ was the second-most cited main reason for unbanked consumers not having an account in 2021,” Alviere CEO Yuval Brisker told Banking Dive. “As the largest retail department store chain in Mexico, the Coppel brand is trusted and recognized by Mexican consumers who are now in the U.S. Importantly, the features of the mobile wallet supports all consumers in the U.S. and accepts official identification from both Mexico and the United States for account registration.”

Those without access to banking services are left to carry larger quantities of cash and are unable to make purchases digitally. Access to a debit card remedies both of those challenges. Coppel’s mobile wallet also allows customers to transfer money to friends and family in the U.S. and to send money to Mexico.

People in Mexico can receive their remittances at 1,250 different locations or Grupo Coppel’s bank, BanCoppel, or directly into their BanCoppel account.

By offering some of the same services traditional banks do, CEO of U.S.-based Coppel affiliate Appriza Pay Adrian Jaimes said that Grupo Coppel is continuing its 80-year mission of “improving the lives of its customers.”

“The Mexican American community, like many immigrant communities, still has strong ties to their home country. For Mexican Americans in particular, we know they are supporting friends and family in Mexico by sending money home, but there aren’t many simple, trusted solutions to do that,” Brisker said. “With Coppel Access, they can use direct deposit or mobile check deposit to fund their account and then transfer money to friends or family without leaving their home.”

Moreover, being able to get a debit card “gives them freedom of choice for where, when, and how they spend their money,” he said. “Those of us who have been banked for decades may take that for granted, but this is a critical step to encouraging equity in the U.S.”

The launch of Coppel’s new service comes as another retailer, Walmart, is beta testing fintech platform One.

“They don’t need to go acquire customers, they already have them,” said David Donovan, executive vice president of financial services for the Americas at digital consulting company Publicis Sapient. “They just have to roll that service out and make it really easy and simple. It’s like, build it, and they’ll come,” Donovan said in an interview with Banking Dive last year.


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