Agricultural Credit Card Innovation: The Case of Financiera Trisan

Dec 2000
The purpose of this paper is to analyze a program that extends credit cards to agricultural input suppliers and rural producers in Costa Rica and to determine whether this program is financially viable and potentially replicable in other rural areas of Latin America. A credit card program is very innovative and unusual for a rural setting. Normally, credit cards have been promoted in urban areas with business firms and salaried employees who have steady cash flows. Credit cards in rural areas are not as common because potential clients, especially agricultural producers, have more seasonal and uncertain monthly cash flows. This paper seeks specifically (1) to recount the genesis of an agricultural credit card program; (2) to describe the product, the typical client, and service delivery methodology; (3) to analyze the financial performance of this product; and (4) to conclude with outstanding challenges facing the expansion and replication of the product.