Our work in Mexico dates back to 1994, with funding from USG and Mexican agencies. All of our work has been in credit union development, with a focus on savings mobilization, outreach to the rural poor, and youth. We helped credit unions develop products for and train children and youth in savings and entrepreneurship.
Through the Rural Microfinance Technical Assistance Project (PATMIR III, for its acronym in Spanish), we worked with 41 financial institutions to link rural residents - including women and indigenous populations - to formal financial institutions through an innovative rural finance methodology that combines banking correspondents and ICT. The project targets communities of less than 15,000 inhabitants in municipalities of medium, high, and very high marginalization, located in 19 states and 271 municipalities.
Select Project Strategies
- We worked with partner credit unions to reach marginalized rural residents through our field officer banking methodology, which send field officers to rural communities. The field officers promote credit union services, help unbanked individuals join the institution, provide financial education, and help members transact on their accounts.
- We performed comprehensive institutional diagnostics within the financial institutions to identify operational and administrative areas that need technical assistance.
- We evaluated the feasibility of expanding markets for each credit union.
- We offered a data networking platform for the use of technology to deliver financial services to underserved populations. This platform provides ATM, POS, and mobile banking services.
- We set up banking agent correspondents in rural communities. We also helped the Mexican government draft the Reforma Financiera 2013 law that allows credit unions to work with correspondent banking agents.
This field officer banking methodology brought financial services to more than 484,000 marginalized people in Mexico in three years, with approximately 44 percent of these new members between 18–35 years of age.