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To take advantage: shopping rage with "Ahora 12" plan in shops and bank marketplace

To take advantage: shopping rage with "Ahora 12" plan in shops and bank marketplace
After the exchange rate on Monday, Argentines are betting on advancing purchases due to the possibility of a less favorable economic future
17.08.2019 01.50hs Mundo Fintech

"Since Monday this is another country." With this short but blunt statement, an important director of one of the most important retail chains summarizes iProUP about his views on PASO and what he believes will come from now on.

Meanwhile, the markets only needed two days to make their adjustments, which were reflected in the country risk, in the prices of stocks and bonds and in the main thermometer of the economy: the dollar.

Product of the new scenario left by the elections, the green bill jumped from $ 46 to $ 58. And nobody can say for sure if a price close to $ 60 is the ceiling or just a new floor.

With an inflation that in the interannual calculation spider 55%, the ordinary citizen is forced to get used, almost to the blows, to sudden changes of this type. And it is no longer difficult to anticipate what is coming: the contagion effect of the devaluation of the prices of goods and services.

With the trained smell due to the successive crises that it had to go through, it shapes its forms of consumption according to the economic moment. For now, now - with an unpredictable dollar, cloud fees and a government that tries to resist how to place it - it leaves a slit to get some kind of revenue.

Specifically, the strong devaluation and remarking when falling invites many to take advantage of the plans offered by Now 12, aware that today they can finance a purchase in twelve installments without interest and tomorrow they do not know if this benefit will continue to exist.

The Government, meanwhile, is forced to maintain a program that seems to have been out of timing. So much so that the complaints of the banks themselves are already heard, which try to accompany the transition but, in short, are the ones that should "bank" the initiative and feel that they now have less margin. And, it is not for less, since along with the cards, they absorb 90% of the cost, while the Government takes care of the remaining 10%.

Some economists call it preventive purchases, others "consumer leakage." However, the feeling of many Argentines is that they are making an "intelligent purchase" in view of the advent of a new inflationary flash and higher interest rates in pesos imposed by the Government to curb the demand for dollars.

Under the slogan "you have to take advantage of it while it lasts", they turn to the product stores (marketplace) of the banks and to the large chains that continue to offer the Now 12 at least "while supplies last", in the framework of replacement costs merchandise that will later be higher product of the recent devaluation.

Banks and shops

"Sales have grown a lot in recent days. Customers advance purchases and seek to take advantage of opportunities. In particular, in technology and appliances, which are being the items that are increasing," they indicate from ICBC to iProUP.

Despite the exchange rate, the entity still maintains "the same offers both in discounts and financing: six and nine installments without interest, the six payments being the most used modality." The average ticket is $ 5,500 if all categories of ICBC Mall are combined.

The trend is repeated in the retail chains consulted by this means, which coincide in which air conditioning equipment and televisions lead the options of those who appeal to "take advantage of the card" before the amounts are updated.

Given the proximity of Children's Day, banks and businesses will not change conditions in order to make a profit on a key date for consumption. Nor has Mercado Crédito - the Mercado Libre loan service - modified its plans.

"Sales rose to take advantage of Now 12 and current prices, which have not yet incorporated the recent devaluation," Alejandro Taszma, commercial director of Frávega, tells iProUP. As for the type of acquisitions, they highlight the growth of several categories has been even. "

"We were surprised. Sales quadrupled on the Monday after STEP. And in the following days we went on to sell more than double in our marketplace," they point to iProUP from a frontline bank, realizing the interest of a large number of people to be made of financed products.

However, he clarifies: "We are reviewing how to continue with these types of interest-free installment plans, because now the reality is different, the dollar skyrocketed and rates rose even more."

Just as Mercado Libre advanced with services that traditionally corresponded to banks - such as consumer loans and SMEs and mutual funds - several entities have already set up their own virtual store to sell products in interest-free installments and with rebates.

These marketplaces have been growing strongly and have become one of the main strategies not only for customer loyalty but also for a new way of generating revenue. And what are these banks? At first:

- ICBC: provides more than 62,000 goods and services and proposals from more than 13 tourism companies. Expect to close the year with a turnover of $ 2,000 million

- City: launched its store in May and in the first 45 days sold more than 2,000 for $ 20 million pesos

- Macro: MacroPremia allows you to use points, get discounts and buy items. They plan to close 2019 with a million transactions

- Supervielle: Your store offers discounts and up to 9 installments in six categories, including tourism

- Petersen Group banks: with Click Shop you can access rebates and payments at rate 0

In the supermarkets, similar behavior is also experienced to take advantage of Now 12: sales grew 25% only on Monday, with special rebound in household appliances and household items, they point out from a company that knows consumers well.

This preventive consumption also benefits fintech "lenders", which register an increase of up to 25% in applications these days. For what concepts? Basically two: household expenses and to settle debts with credit cards. Possibly, to release balance and thus take advantage of Now 12.

Facundo Turconi, founder of the fintech Solvent, which offers the possibility of comparing and contracting lines from different banks from a single app, assures iProUP that online loans have advanced strongly. "They are growing at 35% monthly," reveals the executive, who reports that the average amount is 25,000 pesos, for a clientele mostly under 35 years.

The manager reveals how many Argentines take advantage of these credits to beat inflation: with these funds they pay the card and free up the quota to acquire more goods in interest-free installments or with bank discounts.

"Ahora 12" plan, in check

Since banks absorb almost all the costs of Now 12, experts believe that the program has little chance of lasting. Or, even worse, to reach December, the end date that appears "on paper."

"The agreement is agreed," warn iProUP from one of the main retail chains. But the main concern of the companies is linked to what will happen with the replacement cost. That is, at what price the merchandise will be replenished when the stock runs out.

They take it for granted that the new value of the dollar will at some time be transferred to prices, as is usually the case, but they await a signal from the Government about the continuity of the plans. In the case of merchants, the countdown can be advanced based on inventory availability.

"So far, we have not downloaded any line, but it is a topic that was discussed between sales and channel managers," they trust iProUP from another appliance chain. For their part, from two private banks that own their own e-commerce store and provide interest-free payments, they tell iProUP: "For now, everything remains the same."

However, this media found that several entities frozen the communication of promotions until they had more details on how the economic situation will continue.

Among economists, they agree that this type of financing plan has a couple of months left to live. Of course, this is not the time to discuss this issue with officials: "It is not going to be defined in this week, they are very complicated days," they say from an entity.

"It is unlikely that interest-free installments will remain with flying rates, uncertain dollar and acceleration of inflation," economist Ariel Setton tells iProUP.

Martín Kalós, from EPyCA, agrees: "It is very difficult to keep financing when everything goes up."

According to Setton, "with this devaluation rate, it should not surprise a remarking of the main short-term products that impact on the capacity of consumption."

"The inflationary regrowth that will take place at the hands of the devaluation implies higher costs for production, for businesses and families. Some adjustments will take place in the next few days, others will take a little longer," Kalós adds.

In addition, Setton traces a chain reaction that will end up further freezing consumption: "Products affected by interest-free installments are, in general, durable or semi-durable goods, which also - unfortunately - are the first to fall in sales as they fall. the ability to buy wages. "

From the Government they intend to stretch the Now 12 as much as possible: it is necessary to arrive in October with as many benefits as possible for the middle class.

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