Ebury, the global fintech company specializing in international payments and currency exchange, now offers services to more than 12,000 customers globally (of which more than 2,000 are national) from its technology center in Malaga, where it has been present since 2011 with a team that currently has 240 professionals from 31 nationalities.
The fintech company, which has had Banco Santander as a majority shareholder for the last three years, offers financial solutions for companies in more than 130 currencies, covering the main markets and emerging economies. Ebury, founded in 2009 by Spanish engineers Salvador García and Juan Lobato, has a network of 32 offices in 21 countries with more than 1,400 employees.
Ebury’s development center in Malaga handles all global technology operations related to payment processing and relations with financial institutions.
“We have a business model where, apart from certain local offices, we provide services centrally, and Malaga is responsible for developing the technology for all the group’s clients,” says Ebury’s chief technology officer (CTO), Victor Tuson.
The growth of Ebury, which plans to incorporate between 30 and 40 employees in Malaga in the medium term, exemplifies the maturity that the fintech segment, made up of companies that use technology to improve or automate financial services and processes, is reaching.
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A sector in “coming of age”
“The fintech sector is at a moment that we could define as coming of age. It is no longer something emerging, but rather the companies that make it up are, in many cases, large companies, with a large business portfolio and loyal customers,” he says.
An example of this is that in recent years this segment has established relationships and synergies with traditional banking, leaving behind an initial phase that was one of some suspicion. “There is a tendency for banks, in general, to now see fintech companies more as an opportunity than a competition to protect themselves from,” he added.
Tuson, an engineer by training, highlights the position Malaga has achieved as a technology hub and talent attraction. “It is very well positioned in all aspects and hosts several fintech meetings and congresses throughout the year, including one organized by Ebury itself,” he recalls.
In his opinion, Malaga should continue to invest heavily in the training of talent, since the demand for technology professionals is immense right now, and it is not easy to find all the profiles that are needed.
“San Francisco or Dublin are other examples of these dynamics: technological poles with a high level of demand, and where they are clear that the supply of professionals must be just as strong,” he points out.
AI, cryptos, and physical money
As for the future of the fintech segment, Ebury’s technology manager highlights the growing weight of Artificial Intelligence and the well-known ChatGPT system. “They are tools that allow a lot of flexibility and that means an improvement in customer service. It is something that is going to revolutionize the connection with the user, also allowing us to have all the updated information, applied in our field to elements such as investment vehicles or currency exchange,” he detailed.
Regarding cryptocurrencies, Tuson stated that there is a great variety of products, some of them very volatile in terms of their market value, and others that do offer greater security in use and as an investment vehicle.
“We see a pretty interesting future in the ‘crypto’ world, not necessarily Bitcoin. Many cryptocurrencies are being brought out that right now already have equivalents in real currency (euro or dollar) and even cryptocurrencies backed by central banks. All this will lead to a digitalization of international payments because if you have a ‘crypto’ backed by a central bank you leave all insecurity behind. And that will improve the speed and transfer of these payments,” he says.
A very topical issue related to this area is the future of physical money. Tuson believes its destiny may be to remain a very residual resource.
“The future of physical money is not assured. In fact, if we think about it, it is the least secure thing there is: a 50-euro bill doesn’t have your name on it, it falls out of your pocket and you lose it. Moreover, a banknote is easy to duplicate to create counterfeit money. Electronic money is something that is of great interest to society to control the underground economy. It is something that will increase,” he predicted.
In his opinion, metal coins and paper banknotes will be increasingly pushed aside in the face of technological progress. “There will come a time when they will become a thing of the past, only for use in very specific cases. It will be something practically for collectors,” he predicted.
DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of Born2Invest, its management, staff or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.
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First published in LaOpinionDEMALAGA, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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