CajaVecina: The bancarization of chile through corner shops

Juan Felipe Espinosa Cristia, José Ignacio Alarcón Molina

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The following chapter describes and analyses a Chilean financial inclusion mechanism called CajaVecina. This mechanism was deployed by the Chilean state-owned BancoEstado and falls within the phenomenon known as the Cashless Economy. CajaVecina is a banking correspondent (BC) service that builds upon a dedicated point of sale terminal typically found at small, independent corner shops. Together with the debit card linked to a ‘universal’ sight account, the terminal enables people access to several banking and payment services. The chapter introduces the CajaVecina service and the relative success of its deployment and acceptance across Chile. Our focus it to explore the socioeconomic relationships around CajaVecina, namely how the user, the storekeeper (intermediary) and the bank connect. The sociology of money, of payments and the studies of neo-institutionalism are the basis for the analysis of fieldwork collected from a website designed to collect complaints from the users of the system. (Unless otherwise stated, empirical data in this article draws on public complaints logged and freely accessible at (accessed January 15, 2016).) The conclusion shows that CajaVecina offers a form of financial inclusion considerably different to the services of BancoEstado at its regular retail branches.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Book of Payments
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781137602312
ISBN (Print)9781137602305
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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