Today even technology is under scrutiny: it is not assured who will be the greatest player. Even a fintech can be created in one or two months. The key is to conquer the user There are several “races” that are currently unleashed in the financial industry. Today is at stake the speed with which the main players in the market, including banks and fintech, offer products and services, but above all it is disputed who will be the user’s favorite.
Anyway, in this bid for power there are no opponents, given that banks offer a name, tradition, and a wide range of options, while fintech are focused, generally, in niches little exploited and in the latest technology; that is to say, they complement each other, to the point that alliances, joint ventures and even acquisitions arise.
The market is not sentenced, the financial ecosystem lives in constant change because it is even in doubt what will be the technology that will prevail over the years. This forces the sector to form meeting places where you can discuss how to get there first, stay current on this path that is not yet drawn. For that, the Argentina Chamber of Commerce and the University of San Andrés offer a program of innovation in financial services, and in this presentation, Matías Friedberg, co-founder of Ixpandit and coordinator between the Chamber and the universities, said that a fintech can still be created that dethrones to Mercado Pago, that a new company can be launched in one or two months and that “who can reach the consumer better” will win.
-What are the chances that another fintech as big as Mercado Pago will appear?
There is still a chance that a fintech will emerge that will disrupt the market. There is always that option. You have to be aware of how the ecosystem is evolving. Mercado Pago is very strong in what is payments, a platform is being set up where many financial movements will start to be seen, and I think there are also possibilities for companies to lend through the platform. But, in general, because the financial industry is so big, it is difficult to think that a single fintech will monopolize only the entire market. How much money can Mercado Pago have to pay in Latin America? It is a market of more than US $ 100,000 million. It usually happens that more comprehensive companies, some smaller, more niche, can reach the consumer better; I think more comes from that side.
-And how do you measure which fintech company is greater than another?
Depends on the slope. We at Ixpandit are in lending, and can be measured by loans granted in money, in transactions, in monthly clients. In insurance is by quantity, the amount of insurance that can be sold is one of the variables. In virtual wallets: users, number of transactions
-And what is happening that some wallets are transformed or disappear?It is something that is being defined, the market is still young. Ualá is starting to appear more and more and others are going to emerge and that is going to revolutionize the credit market and also the funding, the collection market. Now, for example, WhatsApp could bring to Latin America the charge for chatting, selling and charging over there; This makes the wallet and platform market even more complex to operate. -How long can it take to create a fintech? Creating it is a matter of setting up a limited company; If you have the money, of course. The programming depends on the type of technological solutions. In general, one tries to make the solution easy, to which the consumer can access to test the idea. Do not bet on a one-year development and then put it on the market and realize that it does not work. As the idea is fed, you will see what are the errors or what the user needs and the product is alternating, the development becomes more complex. Starting is easy and simple; It is a matter of one or two months, while putting together all the technology is continuous, you never stop, more and more robust and more agile teams are assembled to deal with the problems of the clients.
-With regard to technology, for example QR or NFC, which will be the dominant?
With the technological sector we must be constantly attentive, because a new one can also arrive that even changes the paradigm. There are many and that is what excites me. Blockchain is a new way of operating, it seems distant but it has possibilities to disrupt many industries and even economic models. Then there is also machine learning, which is a way of making more and more exact decisions.
– How do you see the relationship between banks and fintech?
The banking has the capital and the name, and the fintech the agility and user access. I saw him in Israel, New York, London; what is happening is that in some cases banks buy companies, in others they join and in others banks invest directly. It depends on each market.
-In Argentina, banks often complain that fintech are not regulated, that the rules are not the same. How does the regulation issue come about?
It is in discussion and it is good that happens. There are beginning to be regulations in Latin America, which is going to set a precedent here. In Argentina, the Central Bank’s message was not to regulate those companies that do not receive funds from depositors; The difference between banks and Fintech is that banks have deposits from people and fintech private capital. Anyway, there are grays and this is going to change.