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News from Latin America
March 21, 2001: 2:51 p.m. ET

Redecard invests $1M in services site; Patagon starts money transfer service
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NEW YORK ( - Officenet said it will launch its supply sites option in Brazil, Redecard invested $1 million in a services site, and personal finance site Patagon launched its P-Cash service in Argentina.

Officenet launches supply sites, rethinks exchange

Argentina-based Officenet plans to launch its supply sites option in Brazil, after attracting some 40 clients to this system in Argentina, CEO Andy Freire told

The technology targets Officenet's large clients and integrates the Officenet platform with the clients' ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems. This allows companies to customize the Officenet site according to their own preferences, he explained.

Managers can decide what they want their staff to see when logging on; for instance, the site may be configured to show only the products that a particular employee is authorized to order, and features such as news and commercial messages may be included or excluded.

Officenet launched the service in Argentina a month ago. It was developed by Officenet's own technology team, which includes several former employees of portal El Sitio (LCTO: Research, Estimates). The company originally planned to charge for the service, but decided not to. "We realized that this is the best way to get clients and to lock them in," he said.

Redecard invests $1M in services site

Brazilian credit card acquirer Redecard has invested $1 million in a services site for local retailers, Gazeta Mercantil (Brazil) reported.

Affiliated retailers will be able to make online applications for credit, point-of-sale terminal maintenance, sales material requirements and registration changes, marketing VP Fernando Pantaleao said. It also will offer content and a series of promotions.

He predicted $951,000 (2 million reals) annual savings related to the online service. "We believe that 30 percent of the retailers will stop making inquiries via our call center and begin to make inquiries through the Internet, which means a cut of the same proportion in our phone bills," he said.

Patagon launches money transfer service

Regional personal finance site Patagon, controlled by Spanish bank Grupo Santander Central Hispano (BSCH), yesterday launched its P-Cash service in Argentina, which allows Patagon account holders to make money transfers by e-mail, La Nacion (Argentina) reported.

"The idea is to make life easier for people, because one of the banks' weaknesses is their slowness and the trouble related to moving money between different accounts. With this new system, which is popular in the U.S. but unknown in Argentina, you only have to know a person's e-mail address to send them money," Patagon regional coordinator Meyer Malka said.

The service is free and available to users aged over 21, who have a Patagon account. The maximum transfer is $1,000. Patagon plans to expand P-cash to Mexico, Venezuela and Chile within 30 days, and the service will be introduced later in Spain, Patagon Sociedad de Bolsa president Gonzalo Ketelhohn said.

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