Santander Mexico to launch digital bank ‘soon,’ executive says

By Kylie Madry

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Santander’s Mexico unit will launch its digital bank service in the next few months, an executive said on Tuesday, adding the bank’s planned roll-out was in the final stages.

The banking giant’s digital product, known as Openbank, received its license to operate in the country in July.

Openbank’s launch “will be this year, soon,” said Matias Nunez, Santander Mexico’s head of digital and innovation, at an event with startup adviser Endeavor.

“I hope in just a few months we’ll be back here to talk about the launch,” Nunez said.

In Mexico, traditional banks have struggled to catch up as digital banks have grown rapidly. Competitor Banorte is set to launch its digital bank service, called Banco Bineo, next week.

Meanwhile, Brazilian fintech Nubank topped more than 4 million clients in Mexico by the end of September.

Santander has also launched a handful of other digitally focused services in Mexico recently, Nunez added, explaining the bank was the first to roll out a customer-service bot on its social media using artificial intelligence application ChatGPT.

Transfers through the Santander application also grew more than 40% in December from the year-ago period, Nunez said, topping 40 million transactions.

Santander Mexico incorporated DiMo, an electronic transfer platform from Mexico’s central bank, to its application last year. More than 700,000 clients have used the service so far, Nunez said.

(Reporting by Kylie Madry; Editing by Chris Reese)