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Contxto – Earlier this week, Brazilian fintech Stone launched digital account services for SMEs that are already using its card machines. This is the startup’s latest move to offer more holistic financial services to partnering retailers other than POS terminals.
All the same, the initiative aspires to attract more SME partners, not to mention build customer loyalty around Stone’s various solutions.
Stone digital account
With this latest product, new features will include improved receipt management, in addition to more control with Accounts Receivables over the coming months. In other words, this means that partners will have constant viewing access to both debit and credit accounts. This way, they will always know when to expect deposits.
According to Stone, this is one of their customers’ biggest pain points.
“Brazilian shopkeepers never know exactly when they will have money,” said Augusto Lins, an executive partner at Stone. “We want to easily organize those bunches of papers and vouchers.”
With that said, the new digital account will have no fixed charges or hidden fees. However, bank transfers will reportedly not be free. Now, Stone’s solutions range from payroll and tax payments, payroll registration, as well as other portable salary benefits.
By portable salary benefits, these employer-sponsored arrangements vary from health to retirement plans, including 401(k)s, health savings accounts, etc.
Moving forward, the Brazilian fintech also anticipates offering a free prepaid credit card through Mastercard with no annual fees.
At the moment, this digital account is only available to current partnering companies using Stone’s POS readers. Interested account holders can apply through the Stone app and receive a decision within minutes. In the meantime, the company wants to make it explicitly clear that it offers more than just payment solutions.
“If you met us as Stone Payments, we want to introduce ourselves once again,” said the fintech on LinkedIn. “We are not just payments. Today, we are more and less than what we used to be. You can just call us Stone.”
Based on reports, Stone’s strategy is straightforward and understandable – offer more services to shopkeepers. If not, partners could very well switch service providers for one of Stone’s rivals.
“By reducing rates, market leaders have turned the payment industry into a commodity, while a younger company like Stone has to bring value-added services,” said Edson Santos, a consultant and payment specialist.
Others believe this is a “natural step” in the right direction. That’s to say, payments are just the tip of the iceberg.
“Having a digital account is a way to ensure that Stone won’t lose customers, to secure its market share,” said Guilherme Horn, a consultant for the Brazilian Association of Fintechs.