Given the great dynamism of the fintech ecosystem in Mexico, Citibanamex closely follows its evolution and seeks opportunities for collaboration, mainly through partnerships and strategic investments.
Manuel Romo, CEO of Citibanamex, highlighted that the bank actively explores collaborations with some fintech companies and also with the so-called bigtech companies, since, he said, there are natural synergies. “On the one hand, we are one of the leading banks in Mexico, with a very recognized brand, a very relevant national presence, and a huge appetite to offer the best digital banking experience in the country,” he said.
He added: “on the other, there are these digital natives that have a 100% digital customer base and great agility to have very fast innovation cycles. Bringing together the best of both worlds is the perfect recipe to ensure the highest customer satisfaction.”
During his participation in Finnosummit Connect 2021, he mentioned that some examples of what has been achieved hand in hand with the fintech ecosystem include: the hackathon that has been held since 2019, and a collaboration with a Mexican-American fintech that offers cutting-edge technology in biometric identification. “Together with it we are about to launch the opening of 100% remote N4 accounts.”
He also commented on Citi Ventures’ investment in Arcus, which has helped identify points of collaboration, particularly in new digital payment experiences for customers.
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Fintech companies have had fertile ground to develop
The banker highlighted that the significant growth of fintech companies in the country is due to the fact that they have found fertile ground to be born, since, for example, there is a population with low banking penetration; cash is still widely used, and most businesses do not yet allow electronic payments.
“In addition, with the entry into Mexico of different 100% digital service companies that have taken advantage of the high level of talent in the country to detonate the growth of their models, more and more users want to have digital and immediate experiences,” he said.
Mexico, with a strong appetite for investors
Manuel Romo highlighted that Mexico and Brazil have been the countries in the region with the most fintech companies, but he explained that Mexico has been characterized lately by a strong appetite for venture capital investors.
He stated, based on Endeavor, that in 2020 close to $1.3 billion were invested in the country, and as of July 2021, more than 2.5 billion had already been invested. “This amount for the fintech industry is similar to what Brazil is experiencing.”
He referred that although a period of consolidation has not yet been observed in the industry, he considered that it is possible that, as investment rounds of these magnitudes continue, larger startups will begin to look for new growth paths and market niches.
Participation of fintech and bigtech companies must guarantee fairness in competition
The director of Citibanamex welcomed the participation of new players such as fintech and bigtech companies, since the competition, he said, is good for everyone.
However, he considered that such participation must be given by guaranteeing conditions of fairness in competition, as well as security for clients and the industry, so he estimated that at the same risks, there must be the same regulation.
“It is partly a matter of healthy competition, but above all of protecting the assets and security of clients, and of not putting the system as a whole at risk, for example, in the face of cybersecurity, money laundering or terrorist financing problems,” he said.
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First published in EL ECONOMISTA, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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