The top challenger bank in Mexico prizes ease-of-use
Ángel Sahagún is the Founder and CEO of albo and he spoke with Efma about how the simplicity of his bank is changing the way Mexicans manage their finances.
Ángel is an entrepreneur and investor with the personal mission of developing technology to improve peoples’ lives. Since 2009, Ángel has been an active member in technology companies. In 2010 he created MoneyMenttor.com, a mobile app focused on personal finances, that allowed the user to assemble different bank accounts to gain control over incomes and expenses. Based on that experience, he decided to found albo.mx in 2014, a company with the mission of simplifying and making transparent the process while receiving, transferring, and spending money. Currently he is Founder and CEO of albo.mx.
Today, albo is the leading challenger bank in Mexico with more than 300,000 clients and has raised more than $26 million of investment.
What led to the creation of albo?
The idea was born in 2009, when I was 19 years old and needed to manage my money and savings better, so I decided to develop an application for personal use called MoneyMenttor, in which I could keep track of my expenses. This app gained real traction and started to become popular. However, due to market conditions and the lack of a business model, it was impossible to monetize this product.
Later in 2011, I had the opportunity to build a second company specialized in software development for some of the most important financial institutions in Mexico, where we worked on mobile app solutions, core banking, and transfers, among others. It was then that I learned how a bank works behind the scenes, which made me understand the opportunities that existed in the financial sector.
So, in 2015 I began to build albo, where the mission was, is, and will continue to be to offer a digital financial service that is simple, without commissions, honest, transparent, and totally free.
What makes albo different is that our services do not have commissions or branches, so the entire service is through our application, which for our clients translates into a better use of their time. Unlike other cards, there is no charge for opening, minimum balances, monthly, annuity, or transfers. The account gives any user absolute freedom and control over their money, helps them spend smartly, as well as send and receive money immediately, with no waiting time, lines, or bureaucracy.
Could you present albo's offer?
albo is a modern, efficient, commission-free financial service that helps clients manage their money. Almost four years since its inception, albo is the leading challenger bank in Mexico with more than 300,000 active users. albo works through an international debit card licensed by Mastercard, and a powerful mobile app so simple and easy to use that in less than five minutes and with only your ID, gives you a debit account that lives in your smartphone.
From the moment your identity has been verified, you can start using your money and shopping in online stores. Your personalized card arrives within 10 days and from that moment you can also purchase in physical stores.
Within the app, you have options such as:
● Activate or deactivate your physical card with a single click.
● Simple reports that tell you how you’re spending your money.
● Payment of services such as electricity, water, gas, top-ups.
● Sending and receiving money quickly.
● 24/7 personalized customer service.
Additionally, we have a B2B business model: "albo for business” where the offer is to stop spending your time on very different payment methods and deal with only one company.
What's coming next for albo?
We will continue working to provide our users with a complete offer this year, in many ways, for example:
- Strengthening our virtual card that allows users to start spending online even without a physical card.
- Improving our “albo for business” offer to give teams benefits that help them in their day-to-day life, improving their relationship with money through real benefits, such as health insurance at preferential prices or other options while helping the business to efficiently manage payments, transfers, payroll, and expenses.
- We are working on a "lending" option for our users, to provide transparent and fair access to a loan if they require it without needing anything more than a single click.