What’s one of the most visible effects of inflation? An instantly smaller paycheck. Blankfactor is a proud tech partner of Glim (formerly Prontomás), an end-to-end financial solution fighting inflationary impacts on salary through a digital dollars savings approach. And that’s just the beginning of Glim’s vision of innovating salary.

We caught up with Glim Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer Tomas González Ruiz to learn more about how the fintech product Prontomás evolved into Glim and how financial technology can empower both employees and employers.

Helping employees keep more of their salary

Both at the outset and today, the core mission of the Prontomás team was to make financial life better for people in Latin America.

In a region that can see average yearly inflation increases of over 18% (International Monetary Fund, IMF), the challenges of currency devaluation mean a paycheck of $1,000 can easily turn into a deposit of $800 or $900 overnight. 

Image source: “Latin America Faces Slowing Growth and High Inflation Amid Social Tensions,” IMF

And Colombia, where Prontomás launched, has seen some harsh inflationary spikes; some of the latest figures estimate a rise in excess of 12% in 2022 (IMF).

With this context in the background, the Prontomás team set out to design financial tools that would help Latin Americans keep more of their salaries and build their savings power.

The evolution of a fintech product

In its first iteration, the Prontomás team wanted to create a B2C wallet that anyone could use. But the team soon realized that they could add even more value by connecting this wallet to salaries, which could pay off for both employers and employees.

“We also started thinking about ways of making life easier for companies to attract and retain talent,” says González Ruiz. Their new vision would mean not only developing a blockchain-based wallet but creating additional product offerings tailored to employer and employee interaction with these financial tools.

For employers, the benefits were clear. Glim now makes it possible to add even more financial benefits on top of employee paychecks — which is proving particularly compelling in a remote work economy with a global field for talent competition. And in the context of a financial crisis, this is a winning value-add for employers looking to develop even more attractive benefits in the most cost-effective way.

Stretching the value of salaries in LATAM in beyond

As inflation spread across the globe in 2023, the team at Prontomás envisioned a new global opportunity for a solution originally designed for LATAM.

“We know that our solution makes total sense for employees around the world,” says González Ruiz.

Glim was born out of that global ambition. González Ruiz and team aimed for a name that would connect light and promise, transcend borders, and prove easy for anyone to say —- all central to the product’s goals. And with the new name, the core mission will remain the same: to make financial well-being easier for workers in LATAM and beyond.

A partner in Mastercard drives even more financial flexibility

Since landing a partnership with Mastercard, Glim’s built out another avenue for employer and employee value. Within the employee-side mobile app (built for Android and iOS), users connect to both a stablecoin wallet and a pre-paid card with cash-back rewards powered by Mastercard.

“They are a great partner,” González Ruiz says of Mastercard. They are really interested in this kind of new product and in innovation, and they are supporting these kinds of teams working on innovative products.” 

Powerful fintech engaging users through simplicity

A blockchain-based app converting your salary to USDC? That’s a mouthful for the average consumer, and in a year that’s spelled tough times for cryptocurrency, it could stir misinformed assumptions. “When you get into blockchain and crypto, you have this sensation of, ‘Whoa. What is this? It’s too much for me to understand at a glance,’” says González Ruiz.

The Glim team and their partners anticipated the confusion.

“So our challenge was, ‘How can we do this in a step-by-step, very easy-to-understand way? That was an insight that came from Blankfactor. In real life, this would have been [a bunch of] forms that people are signing and completing, so we wanted to do this in a very light and fun, happy way,’” says González Ruiz. 

With that, they placed ease of customer experience at the core of their design, focusing on three goals: make a product that’s easy to understand, enjoyable to use, and educates the user to make the most of their salaries and savings through USDC.

With Blankfactor, a complex orchestration powered by financial expertise

Strong architecture, security standards, and financial technology expertise are crucial for the success of a product like Glim, and that’s where the collaboration with Blankfactor shone.

“Many of Blankfactor’s experts come from financial institutions and really successful banks, so we had a lot of know-how on that,” says González Ruiz.

The underlying technology and orchestration involved are complex, involving a highly secure and auditable blockchain ledger; two core products — one for employee-facing and employer-facing tasks, including an embedded stablecoin wallet and pre-paid card; and layers of partner connections from fraud detection systems to ramps for fiat to crypto exchange.

“It’s a really complex orchestration. Blankfactor helped a lot with that, but we tried to make it really simple for our customers so they can take advantage of these digital money benefits without the complexities,” says González Ruiz.

Blockchain — the challenge and promise of transparency

What’s the essential difference in building a blockchain-based product? The potential and the demands of a fully-auditable ledger.

“It requires to really try to do the best [you can] every time because you know that you’re being completely exposed all the time,” says González Ruiz.  

But the potential of blockchain to deliver a fully-transparent system along with the cost optimization and speed of cross-border payments set technology apart, and will make a difference for Glim’s customers engaged in a regional payments network.

“With cross-border transactions, payments can take 2, 3, 4, or 5 days, and the cost of payments is really high. In that use case, blockchain is 10x or 100x better,” says González Ruiz.

The future is bright for Glim

While the challenges of a financial crisis might make it seem a daunting time for fintech innovation, for the team at Glim, it’s the perfect time to bring the product to the market. Offering cost-effective financial benefits while protecting employees’ savings is not just a good idea for workers and employers — it’s a reinvention of salary. 

Blankfactor is proud to be a partner of Glim. If you’re looking for game-changing tech solutions native to fintech and payments, connect with our team. Contact us today for a 60-minute solution session.