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Mobile Payments Come to Cash-Obsessed Mexico

Oct. 18, 2019, 1:28 PM

The Starbucks in the Buenavista mall, a sleek structure set just beyond Mexico City’s colonial center, was bustling on a recent weekday morning. Slowing down cashier Monserrat Ruiz: Customers, one after another, whipped out cash—peso bills and, in some cases, small-denomination coins—to pay for their lattes and iced coffees.

It’s an odd notion for anyone who’s grown accustomed to the rapid-fire experience of paying with plastic or a mobile app in U.S. and European cities. But in Mexico, cash is still king. And, if anything, its use keeps growing, the result of a deep-rooted informal economy and an ingrained distrust...

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