MACH breaks barriers in Chile
Chilean financial institution Banco de Crédito e Inversiones (Bci) wanted to give customers easy-to-access financial products, specifically targeting the unbanked. Millions in Chile have long wanted to tap loans or make payments without resorting to cash, but they were just left out of the banking system. Aiming to open the door to financial services, Bci launched MACH, a digital bank, to offer a digital wallet, payment card, and transfer services.
According to the Inter-American Development Bank, about half of Chile’s population did not have access to a bank account prior to the pandemic. While for many it changed during the onset of COVID-19, as bank cards were issued as a means of receiving government stimulus, the percentage of those actually borrowing or saving anything substantial was at only 15%.
MACH was launched in 2017 to improve financial inclusion in Chile, and in just three years grew to become the second-largest bank in the country by customer base - 2.6 million, most of which were first-time account holders.
Ignacio Gajardo, Chief Technology Officer of MACH, states “For decades, the lack of access to financial services has been a drag on sustainable economic development in Latin America. Bci wanted to cater to those overlooked by traditional institutions in the past and found the solution on the cloud. Driven by this strategy, MACH quickly became the go-to digital account that provides a comprehensive service to millions of Chileans and foreigners that live in the country and who have limited access to traditional banking.”
In the first phase of the business, MACH focused on growth. By offering a full range of banking services, all digitally, MACH was ahead of the game and saw its customer base soar. It was held back by technology, however, as up until 2020, MACH ran on an inflexible core platform that made scaling difficult.
The bank was ready to depart from traditional software and move all its systems to the cloud. MACH needed a SaaS partner that would be quick and easy to configure, allow integration through APIs and keep maintenance costs low.
Gajardo confirms “Growing a user base to millions while keeping our innovation speed has been a great challenge. As we transition to a digital bank we need to develop new services quickly and keep our systems reliable. We knew that a cloud-native banking platform would empower us to develop and get new products to market rapidly.”
MACH chose Mambu for the migration of its existing customer base because of the platform's flexibility and ease of integration. In the past, MACH had experienced service instability and found Mambu's SLAs for uptime and resolution times on customer inquiries to be extremely beneficial.
The team integrated Mambu quickly and could move on to value-added development instead of worrying about keeping the lights on, as Mambu takes care of all infrastructure and maintenance.
MACH’s decision to go with Mambu formed part of its belief that a modern cloud-native platform would best position the neobank for future growth, giving it the flexibility to provide customers with reliable digital financial tools important today and tomorrow. “We selected Mambu because we needed a SaaS solution that focuses on experiences and that would not lock us in. It is an elegant, simple, and flexible solution,” explains Gajardo.
When new market demands arise, MACH can quickly pivot on the cloud and roll out new products or tweak existing ones. The use of APIs and webhooks enabled the level of flexibility that traditional siloed systems could not provide. The method allows customers to forgo logging on to different apps to make different payments.
MACH was the first neobank to provide digital bank accounts in Chile. Today, MACH boasts over 3 million users, 2 million of which were first-time account holders. Access to MACH is 100% free, and it is well on its way to becoming the country’s first fully digital bank.
Operating on Mambu’s SaaS banking and financial services platform gives MACH the flexibility to choose the partners and services needed to best respond to a changing and increasingly complex and nuanced market.
MACHs’ contribution to Chile
- 180,000+ foreigners use the app in Chile
- 55,000+ people over the age of 60 use the app
- 100,000+ transactions are made daily using the MACH Pay platform
- 500,000+ transactions using MACH accounts are made a day
- 3,000 new customers sign up each day
Thanks to Mambu’s composable approach, MACH composes its enabling technology from a range of best-for-purpose connectors and third-party services.
- Faster and cheaper innovation
- Minimized fixed technology costs
- Focus on customer propositions
- Excellent user experiences
- Quick to adapt to market changes