Case Detail

Case Summary

Kueski: Revolutionizing Consumer Credit in Mexico

Case Number: 5-117-005, Year Published: 2017

HBS Number: KE1026

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Authors: Sarit Markovich; Nilima Achwal

Key Concepts

Competition, Competitive Strategy, Decision Making, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Organizational Structure, Strategic Alliances, Strategic Positioning


This case asks students to step into the role of Adalberto Flores, co-founder and CEO of Kueski, one of the first companies to develop a proprietary algorithm for online loan approval in Mexico. Mexico lacks a standardized credit scoring system, making it difficult for many Mexicans to get approved for a loan or credit card. This, together with the fact that Mexicans generally do not trust traditional banks, makes Mexico an attractive opportunity for fintech companies. Growth, however, could require fintech companies to partner with traditional banks. Students assume the role of Flores to think about the benefits and risks associated with a partnership between Kueski and traditional banks. Students are also challenged to compare the structure of U.S. financial services markets with the Mexican structure and consider the implications on the sustainability of fintech companies in the two markets. The teaching note analyzes the Mexican financial market and the benefits and threats it holds for fintech companies, and outlines a framework for evaluating the risk associated with partnerships.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to understand the effect of banks' legacy on the strategy of financial technology companies (fintechs) in terms of business model, positioning, and growth strategy; evaluate the advantage fintechs have over banks and the sustainability of this advantage; assess the value and risks associated with partnership between a startup and a large incumbent; understand the financial landscape in general and in particular the landscape of fintechs in Mexico.

Number of Pages: 10

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Strategy

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: Mexico

Industry: Financial technology

Organization Name: Kueski

Decision Maker Position: Co-founder and CEO

Decision Maker Gender: Male

Year of Case: 2017