Our Meets started with Juanjo Gómez, our CMO, being interested in Shanti‘s beginnings in the sector. The executive explained that her career before Citibanamex focused on education and financial inclusion, “something very necessary in Mexico”, she explained. In her current role, she manages all aspects related to banking innovation, having previously led the Open Banking & Fintech Partnerships department.
“When I started, disruption was beginning in the industry. Banks took the opportunity to accelerate the digitalization of their processes, products and services during the pandemic.” Digital first was the goal those years. According to Shanti, there was a huge wave of investment in financial products. During 2023 she has seen how large players are consolidating in the Mexican market and, through acquisitions, are seeking banking licenses that allow them to operate in the country.
“Financial inclusion is the actual purpose of banking institutions.”
Shanti Galván – Digital Wealth Product Manager at Citibanamex
Here is a summary of the session. We hope you enjoy it!
The satisfaction of helping millions of unbanked families
Juanjo then spoke about the importance of proofs of concept (PoC) when it comes to achieving success in the alliances between entities and fintechs. Shanti agreed and explained how these partnerships represent the “secret sauce” for creating innovative products.
She commented that the development times for this technology are much longer when it is done internally at the bank. However, by having an external technology provider, such as a fintech startup, it is possible to implement a tool in a few weeks.
“The most interesting thing is that retail banking can offer access to a specific product to millions of people”, she said. Our guest also made it clear that Mexican banks prioritize being 100% digital. Some have even created their own brands to become neobanks, capables of competing in the market.
Here’s a video with the complete webinar!
Towards a much more personal interaction with the bank
Shanti took the opportunity to make clear the importance of increasingly customizing the user experience:
Shanti Galván started.
“Segment offers based on tastes and not send messages to the masses. The key is to serve the user and make the bank a partner that presents services and products at the right time in the customer journey.”
Juanjo then became interested in the way in which technology influences the evolution of wealth management services. “Having a digital platform where users can view their financial situation in real time and offer them tools to interact”, were the two tips that the Citibanamex Product Manager gave us in this regard.
The bank must educate them so that they can correctly manage all their products, especially when we talk about investment, since it is necessary for the user to maintain their assets for a minimum time. Shanti commented on the usefulness of gamification modules as a gateway to the world of investment.
When asked about what other emerging technologies are coming to the country, she commented that the leading trend right now is open finance, since it helps to better understand the consumption habits of customers in order to give them the best advice and help them in their daily lives.
Universal financial education: Is it possible thanks to infinite scroll?
Citibanamex has courses on its website and they also have their own festival, “Moneyfest”, which allows people to learn about finances in an easy way. Internally, they seek to gamify the experience, “It will be great to reach the expertise of China”, he said. Shanti wanted to emphasize the role of digital platforms: “Today social networks are doing the work of economic training that educational centers should do.”
One of the messages that the bank is now launching is: “Saving is good, but investing is better”, so that the population stops keeping money under the mattress. Juanjo wanted to know if the interest rates at 15% are helping to achieve this. According to Shanti: “We want to attract them and then build loyalty with the UX.”
What should an entrepreneur do if they wants to work with a bank in Mexico?
The product manager was clear: they must understand the Mexican market and adapt to the end user. Understand the entity’s needs and adjust the startup’s technology to the one used in the financial institution. It is a mature ecosystem, so there are many networking events where they can meet face to face.
Unfortunately, in Mexico “it is very difficult for us to say no” and, sometimes, you will have to go through the filter of a multitude of stakeholders before closing an agreement. “Resilience and preparing for long sales cycles is important. Then you reach quite deep partnerships, which last 3 or 5 years. It’s like marrying a financial institution, really”, she stated.
Juanjo took the opportunity to ask the question that closes all our Meets: “What do you think will be the technology that is going to change the fintech industry in the coming years?”, to which she responded: “Open finance is going to allow the creation of services that offer highly targeted and niche solutions and experiences.” This prediction was an amazing finish for our Meets.
Shanti Galván, Digital Wealth Product Manager at Citibanamex, highlighted the transformative impact of Fintech partnerships in Mexican Banking during our conversation. She emphasized how these collaborations serve as the backbone for innovation, enabling rapid implementation of technological tools and the development of tailored financial products. Galván expressed that these alliances not only accelerate digitalization within the banking sector but also pave the way for enhanced user experiences and accessibility to a wider array of services, ultimately shaping the future landscape of finance in Mexico.
See you in the next one!