In the last days of October, I visited 16 state and private service provision units in the Vista Alegre-Pastorita-Rajayoga popular council of the City of Santiago de Cuba, which includes four state agricultural markets, two warehouses selling basic products, two MLC shopping stores, four private cafeterias offering light products and beverages, a bakery and three private markets selling food and other varieties , with the aim of verifying how the banking process is promoted at the national level. In all the businesses visited, I asked the same question: “Can I pay by transfer?”
Unfortunately, in only three of these structures the answer is positive; Many reasons or justifications have been put forward for this, such as the lack of magnetic cards or bank accounts, the slowness of service, the inconvenience of having more work than earning and the difficulty of finding ATMs when needed. money, and other arguments. .
It is obvious that bankization is a process that benefits the economy in the long term, but there are many social actors who reject or do not care about it, especially those who have unclear intentions who want to encourage theft, speculation and the black market of both products and services of money, which represents a significant obstacle to official circulation and development and encourages tax evasion.
One of the problems that everyone knows about, but that apparently few want to solve, is the business that is done “outside” the many units of the state. According to a “street expert” with whom I shared the results of the survey, a group of workers in these centers “is not convenient for payments to be made by transfer, because they rely on money for their own” illegal financial interests.
However, during my conversations I discovered a positive detail that will require more detailed verification on my part in the future: a retiree assured me that, in a liquefied gas dispensing unit, in end of the official service, they offer the possibility to the people. who “buy as much money as they can,” an option that is especially useful for those who, like him, find it difficult to go “to ATMs, where the money deposited is scarce and the lines seem endless.”
This service, known as Caja Extra, can contribute significantly to the banking process and benefit citizens who need money for their daily activities, by offering the possibility to get money at the same counters as those warehouse and other service centers, which will facilitate daily replenishment. transactions with the Cubans.
It should be noted that bankingization cannot be solved in a hurry or only through the intervention and will of banking institutions; This process requires training, management, administrative and government needs, as well as effective social control to achieve results.