Uncertainty in Colombia
Colombia’s fintech industry is wondering what the future has in store after a presidential runoff vote later this month and the prospect of changes in regulatory leadership.
“There is not one strong proposal from any of the parties that’s oriented to the fintech sector,” says Erick Rincón, president of Colombia Fintech, an industry group.
The first round of the election on May 29 saw leftist senator and former Bogota mayor Gustavo Petro finish first with 40.32% of the votes, followed by populist businessman Rodolfo Hernández. Subsequent polling showed Hernández narrowing the gap to the point of a technical tie between the two candidates.
For fintechs, a Petro victory would mean “it’s going to be more difficult and more expensive to raise capital” because his politics could negatively impact macroeconomic indicators, says Edwin Zácipa, founder of Fintech Latam Hub.
And regulatory uncertainty as the president appoints new authorities could further cloud the outlook for the fintech sector, says Zácipa.
Changes in regulatory management have already begun. This week, Felipe Lega, the head of Colombia’s Financial Regulation Unit (URF), left the post he’s held for more than four years. Under his leadership, the agency made headway with an open banking project and began planning for a massive payment system similar to Brazil’s PIX model.
“We’re optimistic, and we expect the ecosystem to continue with the adoption” of open banking, says Rincón.
How to navigate a down market?
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