5 February, 2018
LatAm banks face lengthy tech to-do list

Digital finance leaders point to financial inclusion, personalization, digitalization among top technology priorities fpr financial services in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Digital finance leaders point to financial inclusion, personalization, digitalization among top technology priorities

Using technology to improve financial inclusion, better target products and services, and move away from paper-based systems should be priorities for banks and fintech startups, specialists say.

Digital leaders at banks, fintech startups and investment firms surveyed by iupana identified an extensive array of critical next steps for technology financial services in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Carlos López Moctezuma, head of new digital businesses at BBVA Bancomer in Mexico pointed to user experience and personalization as a priority for Mexican banks.

“We need to continue moving away from general offers for all clients, and to increase the personalization of our services,” he said. BBVA Bancomer has been working extensively with artificial intelligence programs to develop chatbots and other tools to improve client interactions.

Financial inclusion offers another important role for technology in financial services, said Jorge Zenteno, acting head of Santander México’s digital factory.

Banks have often been reluctant to roll out services to rural areas because of the cost of physical infrastructure, he noted. “Now, just with internet access, we can bring certain digital services to a countless number of people and communities that previously did not have such possibilities,” he told iupana.

“Reaching all 120 million Mexicans with financial services, securely and at a decent cost, I think is the issue to be addressed,” he said.

In Argentina, the financial system needs to push on with digitalization, in the view of Pablo Sanucci, chief executive of Buenos Aires-based startup InvoiNet.

The new administration in Argentina has made strides in doing away with paper-based systems, but there is more to do, he said.

“The financial sector has to keep taking the steps necessary to allow users to do things digitally,” he said. “We still have paper. We still have notaries in the region who have to check that a person is who they say they are – when we have today biometric technology that makes that no longer necessary.”

Listen to Carlos López Moctezuma, Jorge Zenteno and Pablo Sanucci discussing this story on a preview of the iupana conversa podcast above, in iTunes, or via your favorite podcast player.

Through in-depth conversations with digital leaders at the region’s banks, startups and fintech investors, iupana conversa examines how technology is transforming Latin America’s financial services sector. The series will launch in full on February 12, with Mauricio Minas, CIO at Bradesco, discussing the Brazilian institution’s experience developing and launching “Next”, a digital-only bank.

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