Aviva: Fintech Startup in Mexico Making Loans with Biometric Video Call Underwriting Booths

TechCrunch | Christine Hall | Dec 20, 2022

There are some 40 million Mexicans who are excluded from certain financial products due to banks not thinking it is a segment worth going after, but Filiberto Castro does.

He met his co-founders David Hernandez and Amran Frey at Konfio, and, along with Israel Garcia, started Aviva, a Mexico-based fintech startup focused on bringing working capital to unserved communities.

See: UK prepares to launch new trade deal negotiations with Canada and Mexico

Aviva’s approach uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to match customers’ spoken word to the fields of a real-time credit application. Within minutes, customers can qualify for a nano-business or house improvement loan of up to $1,000.

Unlike other fintechs that are concentrating on large, urban areas, Aviva is concentrating on smaller communities where the company can address the lack of trust in banks, predatory interest rates and help users who may not have the technical ability, like a smartphone, to purchase financial products directly.

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Now buoyed by $2.2 million in pre-seed funding, the company is rolling out a network of physical and digital onboarding kiosks. The five-minute “video call booths” use biometrics and biosignals to determine the client’s risk and willingness to pay in order to underwrite the loans.

The company makes money from financing the interest on the loans, but is able to charge less than current banks. Average interest rates in Mexico can get as high as triple digits, but Aviva is able to charge around 80%, though still high, he added.

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