LOOK: Confidence and resilience: CEOs’ wishes for the new year

Yape’s goal was to reach 15 million users by the end of 2023. Was it achieved?

We are at 14 million users. In July of last year we reached 10 million. We are very happy with the progress and not only in total users, but in active users. A year ago, it was like 7.5 million and now we’re at 10.5 million. That means that half of Peru’s adult population uses Yape recurrently. And our active user makes 32 transactions per month, that is, one payment per day. That makes us quite happy.

In business terms, what did 2023 represent for Yape?

I would tell you that, in the number of ‘yaperos’, in recent years we are already growing very similar. Between 300 thousand and 400 thousand, depending on the month, but now the growth is organic. Before we invested to grow in customers, but now the recommendation among users has given way to this positive and more organic spiral.

Is the result the same in Lima versus regions?

In Lima we must have a penetration of 75% of the population and outside of Lima about 50%. A year ago we were talking about penetration of 55% and 40%, respectively. In the long term, we believe that penetration in regions will continue to grow until it is similar to that of Lima.

In 2023 they launched their ‘marketplace’. In the balance of the business, what results has it brought for Yape?

Yape is still growing due to its ‘core’ value proposition which is ‘yapear’. Many of the new users are also using it to recharge their phones: about 40% of users. So, first it’s ‘yaping’ and then the payment functionalities. The new features that we are launching are to give greater value proposition to the ‘yaperos’.

And how is 2024 positioned?

2023 has been a year of transition. Yape, which was a payment wallet, has become a ‘super app’. In the first seven years of Yape, we launched two features. This year, we have launched ten. In 2024 we will bet on the consolidation of Yape as a ‘super app’, where you can do multiple things.

About 40% of Yape users use the wallet to recharge their cell phones, Morales said.

– Yape also grants loans, are you planning to enhance this functionality?

To date, we have granted 900 thousand loans in the last 12 months since we launched it. More than half of these loans have been to people who have never had a loan in the financial system. We place 100 thousand loans per month, but next year we have set the goal of reaching 500 thousand loans per month. We really want to give access to the financial system through loans to Peruvians who have not had it.

– This, in the current economic context, also implies a greater evaluation of risk. Do you have it planned?

We understand the challenges, context and risk of provision. Our process is not a look at one year, but rather how we begin to generate a financing relationship for the next 5 to 10 years with the ‘yapero’. We start with loans of S/200 and we get to know you. We want to start working with a much broader base of ‘yaperos’ and get to know them so that, over time, we want 5 million Peruvians to have a loan with Yape. That will take us three years, but we have to start planting today so that people understand what financing means.

– Finally, by expanding the credit proposal, it will make Yape reach its potential as a tool for inclusion.

Sure, but that requires information. Now Yape has it. That is why the next great transformation that we plan to achieve in the financial system is access to credit for millions of Peruvians.

– Does this mean increasing the amount at this time?

Yes, but carefully. The last thing we want is to over-indebt the ‘yapero’. For some ‘yaperos’, the amounts and terms will increase. For others, we will enter this process and we will get to know the client. The future vision is to have longer-term loans, greater amounts and greater flexibility. In multi-installment, which are six-month loans, we are launching loans of S/1,000. Today we place 100 thousand credits a month, there are 3,000 in multi-installments. It will grow over time. In credit, you can’t speed up.

– Yape also allows you to exchange dollars, how much are the ‘yaperos’ preferring the application for this?

The functionality has a limitation, which is that you must have a dollar account at BCP. So that reduces the universe of ‘yaperos’ who can do it. Only 10% can use the functionality today. We are working to build a pocket or the possibility of having a dollar account from Yape itself to be able to carry out exchange operations. We are still starting up, we do about 50 thousand transactions a month. We would expect this to continue to grow significantly. As we have done in effective payment, we want to compete with the informal market.

“We are working to build a pocket or the possibility of having a dollar account from Yape itself to be able to carry out exchange operations”

– In the case of remittances, have the results been positive?

We launched it a month ago. We want people to be able to collect their remittances in Yape and for this we are working with the remittance companies to progressively connect them. We already have three remittance companies that can send remittances to Yape. We hope to have ten remittance companies in the coming months. What we want is to give you the alternative, the ease from Yape. The first months of 2024 will see the completion of the remittance and exchange rate functionalities.

Functionalities and the balance point

They have announced that they are close to reaching breakeven. What does it depend on if it is this year?

There are many factors, but we feel confident that with the growth we have in our income per active yapero and the control of expenses, at some point in 2024, these curves will intersect. What does it depend on? That more people continue paying for their services through Yape, that the movement in the store grows. With the growth we are having we know we can achieve it. We are already entering a stage of maturity and a point of balance.

Raimundo Morales, CEO of Yape

Raimundo Morales, CEO of Yape

And what will be the logic behind the investment in the medium term?

The idea is that we continue investing, but with Yape’s own flows. No longer requiring additional capital, but rather the same income allows us to continue having more functionalities. What has to happen is for it to be a self-sustaining business. We are not going to slow down, on the contrary, we believe that the opportunity going forward will be much greater.

At one point in 2023 it was said that, through Yape, it would be possible to recharge Metropolitano cards. Is that coming next year too?

It is an issue that we are working on. It is not that simple, because there are many interlocutors. All of them – not just Yape but all the wallets – we intend that they can be used to pay for public transportation, because it is the big expense in Peru that is still 100% effective. We are working with the ATU, with concessionaires and we have discussions about how to have a possible solution. I think there will be news in the coming months.

Will more features be added?

Yes, they will come, but not as much as in 2023. There will be more issues of expanding categories in the store and being able to buy other things.

“One thing we are exploring with great enthusiasm is gas distribution. In Peru, 5 million gas cylinders are purchased per month. You could order your gas cylinder through Yape instead of making a phone call”

For example?

One thing we are exploring very enthusiastically is gas distribution. In Peru, 5 million gas cylinders are purchased per month. You could order your gas bottle through Yape instead of making a phone call. And I think that is the value of Yape: uniting the physical world with the digital and payments world. We are thinking about going into other categories such as beauty, toys, home…what we want is to consolidate, make it work well and get the right partners.

– Regarding interoperability, how was the issue of QR interoperability between wallets resolved?

In nine months we have gone from zero interoperable operations to more than 50 million per month. We have achieved in nine months what it took Yape 5 years to achieve. That number continues to grow very significantly. We have found alternatives. Everything is working quite well. So much so that it is possible that one has gone yachting at a Plin QR. A very simple experience has been achieved that we can all operate together. We measure everything in Yape and the NPS of those transactions are the highest we have.

Yape and the Bicolor

Yape, given the latest results of the Peruvian National Team, launched an advertisement highlighting that “necessary changes were needed to make it shine again.” Where do you want to take the brand image?

We are a different brand, where our vision is to be close to the ‘yapero’. Our way of speaking is a fairly young brand and we represent many of the values ​​that we want from Peruvians.

Being a sponsor, it implied a risk for the brand.

The hope was being lost and we did not see any change. That’s when we decided, being the voice of the ‘yaperos’, to say that changes were needed. What changes? It’s not our place to say it. I understand that it surprised everyone, but in the end we owe it to the ‘yaperos’. Our vision as a brand is precisely to be more active in things where we believe there is consensus among the ‘yaperos’. Be a little more vocal and where we are involved.

Yape also began operations in Bolivia in 2023. What is the goal this year?

In Bolivia we have 1.3 million ‘yaperos’. We are happy with the reception we have had. We are growing 10% every month in the number of transactions, of active ‘yaperos’ and ‘yaperos’. In Bolivia the payment system is already interoperable and Yape is the main interoperable payment channel in Bolivia and we continue to grow and focus on inclusion. Our goal is that next year we will reach 2.6 million ‘yaperos’ in Bolivia.

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