August 1, 2006
Lower income earners like Cruz are turning to retailers for credit.Miguel Ángel Cruz Ramírez, 30, looks after a small apartment building in the Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City. Married with three kids, he cancelled his savings account long ago. "When I didn't have any more money to deposit, I had to close it," recounts Cruz.
Now he is one of around 38 million Mexicans over the age of 19 without a bank account. And he says he doesn't need one because the money he earns goes straight into spending. But he has got credit, dished out by Banco Azteca, the financing arm of Elektra, a store selling consumer electronics and white goods on the never-never. Cruz owns a play s
Though individual transactions are small, the bottom of Mexico's income pyramid is looking increasingly attractive to issuers of consumer credit.