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Rappi Launches Digital Banking and Travel Business

Rappi, a Colombian delivery startup, launched RappiBank and Rappi Travel, as part of its effort to continue developing a multipurpose ecosystem. According to the company, this step is part of its natural evolution. Since it already operates in nine countries in the region, it may come as no surprise that they will be offering more integrated services to their 10 million-plus monthly users.

RappiBank will allow users to manage credit and debit cards, as well as request loans. It is yet unclear what the requirements will be to access these financial instruments, nonetheless, Rappi could be looking to cater to the population that cannot access credit lines through traditional banking processes. What we do know is that due to the different banking regulations of the countries where the app operates, the strategy has varied and the company’s approach has not been uniform. In Mexico, Colombia, and Peru, Rappi partnered with local banks; while in Brazil, they applied for their own banking license.

Rappi is not the first in the region, nor the world, to expand by adding cohesive functions. The Uruguayan delivery app, PedidosYa, recently developed a digital wallet, PedidosYa Pay, which emulates many of the services of RappiBank. Uber partnered with Credicuotas to offer loans in Argentina. And WeChat, the largest SuperApp in the world, launched its own neobank in 2014: WeBank.

There is a striking distinction to draw among these tech companies, which may prove crucial to the performance of RappiBank. Unlike PedidosYa and Uber, which are foreign owned, Rappi is originally from the region.

While PedidosYa and Uber have focused on global expansion, Rappi, since its establishment in 2015, has only focused on growing in a single region. This market expertise may give the edge Rappi needs to rise above its competitors in Latin America, and potentially become a regional or even a global giant.

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