LaCo co-founder Luis Márquez and his co-workers are planning to open a cooperative bank in the capital, where they have set up a cashless cash system for the first time.
The two-person team of 10 has set up LaCo, which means “peace” in Spanish, in the southern state of Coahuila, and plans to open branches in other parts of the country by the end of the year.
The bank is expected to be able to accept bitcoins from customers, according to the bank’s website, which lists bitcoin as one of its core currencies.
“The bank will also be able issue cashless cards for the convenience of its customers, who will be able withdraw cash without a credit card or a debit card,” the bank says.
Máruez and his colleagues have previously raised funds for the bank from members of the local cooperative, which helps pay for infrastructure and salaries for local employees.
LaCo cofounder Luis Matos told Reuters the co-op was in a “very good financial situation” and hoped to open the bank “by the end, possibly sooner.”
“We’re just at the beginning of it, and it’s a lot of work.
But we think we have a chance,” he said.
The co-ops first started operating in 2015.
Their first bank, a Spanish bank called La Roja, opened in the state of Navarra, in Coahuillas central state of Guerrero.
The bank’s main business was servicing banks and financial institutions, but LaCo has also partnered with two Spanish banks, Bankia and Santander, which have branches in the city of Guerrero as well as the state capital, Monterrey.
Mánrquez said the coops aim to become a “normal bank” by offering more services to the local community.
“We have a lot to offer, we’re not only trying to help our neighbors, we want to serve our community,” he told Reuters.
“I hope that it will make a positive difference in their lives.”
The coops first began operations in 2015, when they began servicing banks.
Now, they offer services such as credit card processing, online banking and credit card lending.
The cooperative’s co-director, Angelica Paz, told Reuters LaCo would not open a bank to provide credit card services but would be open to the public to take advantage of its services.
“There’s a very small amount of money in the bank, and the cooperative will give them a little bit,” she said.
“If we’re able to open up a bank, it will be a real asset, because people who live here, they can get services.”