如今阿根廷最大的信用卡发卡行也加入了万事达的行列。加西利亚金融旗下的Naranja以在阿根廷核发了900万余张信用卡。Naranja不久前与Ripio Credit Network（RCN）签订了谅解备忘录，探索利用区块链技术记录各种信用额度。
RCN的CEO Sebastian Serrano说道：“我们相信区块链技术具备提升传统金融服务，尤其是新兴市场传统金融服务的能力。我们对此可能性感到十分振奋，迫切渴望开始将其应用于阿根廷市场?！?/p>
As blockchain technology continues to make its way into the mainstream, a number of established companies and industries are looking at ways to integrate it into existing infrastructures. Financial institutions in particular are interested in leveraging blockchain technology to boost inclusion and growth.
For example, MasterCard recently applied for patents to use a public blockchain for payment card validation and a travel itinerary bidding system. The major credit card issuer hopes to utilize a public blockchain to potentially improve the issue of card skimming at ATMs and point-of-sale across all providers, which amounts to about $2 billion stolen per year globally.
And now joining the ranks of MasterCard is one of the biggest credit card issuers in Argentina. Naranja, which is part of Grupo Financiero Galicia, has issued over 9 million credit cards in Argentina. Naranja has just signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Ripio Credit Network (RCN) to explore the possibility of using blockchain technology to record different credit lines.
Pilots for the partnership with Naranja and RCN, a global peer-to-peer credit network based on consigned smart contracts, are expected to launch during Q1 of 2019. This will make Naranja the first credit card company in the region planning to use blockchain technology.
“At Naranja, we always want to innovate. That’s actually part of our mission. We believe that blockchain technology can provide wider and better financial inclusion, and RCN’s proposal fits our particular needs. We’re really excited about the partnership and an upcoming pilot integration,” said Juan Pablo Mon, Naranja's Marketing Manager.
Blockchain’s Potential In Emerging Markets
The application of blockchain technology being considered by Naranja also extends well beyond the fact that a major credit card issuer plans to eventually use a blockchain network. The other point to consider here is that Argentina makes up one of the world’s top 10 emerging markets.
Emerging markets are generally characterized by low banking penetration, the exit of financial players from certain markets, and strong demand for financial inclusion from both individual consumers and small businesses. There are also less-developed business infrastructures and financial sector participants in regions like Argentina.
As a result, 1.8 billion people in emerging markets operate in a $10 trillion underground economy, 2 billion people are unbanked and billions others are turned away by local banks and governments. Moreover, those who have access to capital are still held back by high costs of inefficient systems.? For example, a typical credit-card holder in Brazil faces the equivalent Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 345.8%.
RCN’s partnership with Naranja is the first step for many other innovations to come. In particular, this will be relevant for two things. First, it’s important to note that most people don’t have access to financial applications in Latin America. More than 65% of people living in the region don’t have access to financial services, and those who do have an expensive APR. RCN can lower the cost of this and create financial inclusion to impact our economy and improve the lives of millions of people globally, said Sebastian Serrano, CEO of Ripio Credit Network (RCN).
Through the use of blockchain technology and smart contracts, RCN is opening up liquidity globally by allowing users located anywhere in the world to access credit fast, with lower interest rates. RCN uses smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain to provide users with “tokenized loans.”
Naranja is building out a POC that works with banks to register loans on the blockchain, which will include the history and lifecycle of loans. In the future, this will allow for the tokenization of loans, making it easier for transfers to occur globally in a peer-to-peer manner. For example, if someone in Brazil needs access for a loan, the capital could be provided from someone located in China. RCN uses blockchain technology to connect lenders and borrowers anywhere in the world, using any local currency.
“We believe that Blockchain technology has the ability to improve traditional financial services, specifically within emerging markets. We′re really excited with this possibility and eager to start working on an implementation for the Argentinian market,” said Sebastian Serrano, CEO of Ripio Credit Network.