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Beyond the Transaction: Every Transaction Has a Story

Turning São Paulo Traffic into Entrepreneur Opportunity

Juarez Nascimento is a street vendor in Brazil.

My name is Juarez, I am 21 years old. You might consider me to be an unusual entrepreneur because my office is on the busy streets of São Paulo, where I work the traffic lights selling all sorts of mobile phone accessories. On weekends, I go to the coast to sell sunglasses to people on the beach, and on match days, I sell team flags near stadiums. I wake up early every day, rain or shine, to serve my clients.

The idea of accepting credit and debit cards came up when I noticed that, because of robberies, people were carrying less cash.  This made sales very difficult.  Many times, as I am about to make a sale, my customer will realize that they do not have enough cash on them to make the purchase, and then I literally watch my sale drive away. Now, I show him the POS machine I carry upside down and tell him: no problem, you can pay with your plastic.  Initially, people were surprised because they weren’t used to it, but now it is normal.

 Since I started accepting cards, a lot has changed.  My monthly income has doubled and my clients are happy because I offer them convenience.  And it is not only safer for them, it is safer for me too as I don’t have to carry cash around and I feel less vulnerable to crime.  And that is not all. In order to accept plastic, I had to open a business. Now I am a micro-business owner.  Everything’s good.