Open Banking and the transformation of digital services

On September 6 we were lucky enough to have Alejandro Servín, Belvo’s General Manager for Mexico, at a new edition of our Coinscrap Finance Meets. It was the first time we had an international guest and it will certainly not be the last! 

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Alejandro began by talking about his most characteristic trait: serial entrepreneur.

“An entrepreneur with a redbone, as they say in Mexico”

Alejandro Servín

In 2006 he created Súper Salads, a restaurant franchise that grew to more than 50 branches in the country. After six years with the business, he founded and ran Punto a Punto. This startup focused on last mile delivery, which allowed him to be certified as an Endeavor entrepreneur. In 2019 he founded and managed Pagaloop, which creates financing solutions for SMEs. 

In this new stage as General Manager of Belvo since April this year, Alejandro highlights the satisfaction of helping the birth of open banking in Mexico. The company builds the necessary tools so that users of financial services and products -as well as the institutions that offer them- can enjoy the benefits of this technology. One of the biggest difficulties in moving forward is the lack of official regulation.

The birth of open banking in LATAM

Belvo is currently the leading API platform in Latin America and has huge partners, such as Citi Ventures. Thanks to technology and the vast amount of data generated from banking transactions, Belvo is able to create more inclusive, efficient and fair solutions for society

Like Coinscrap Finance, they have a credit decisioning product:

“When applying for a loan, we used to send documentation regarding our income, bank accounts, etc. for further review by the lender. This used to be done by one person and it would take us days to receive a response. In addition to the risk of fraud involved in sending files that could be modified. 

Thanks to open banking, there are many advantages, as the bank asks the user for permission to access their accounts. In a matter of minutes, the artificial intelligence of these tools offers a 100% reliable analysis of their financial situation. On the one hand, the entity, based on its credit policies, will know if it is accepted or not and, on the other hand, the user will receive an immediate response”.

Belvo, like Coinscrap Finance, focuses on improving personal finances while helping financial institutions get to know their customers better. This allows it to offer products and services that are really useful to them. For example, if we find that a person has receipts from a nursery, but no life insurance. It might be time to invite them to take out one. With this type of hyper-personalized offer, the success rate soars.

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A regulation that is not forthcoming

From small start-ups to large banks in Latin America, everyone is benefiting from the rise of open banking. In Mexico, a license is required from the National Banking and Securities Commission, but the process to get it is longcomplicated and expensive.

Belvo obtained it almost two months ago and is the first Fintech startup in LATAM to obtain it. Regulation of the sector by the Commission is not expected in the near future. The Mexican Fintech Association, which they are part of, is very active in this matter and is the most relevant in the national Fintech ecosystem.

Our CEO, David Conde, took the opportunity to ask Alejandro about the use of cash in Mexico, and our guest answered by saying that there are many cultural components to explain the fact that today it is increasing, rather than decreasing. The need to have cash in their wallets is a peculiarity of Mexican idiosyncrasy, even though Alejandro nowadays only pays with his mobile phone (which has led to some funny situations in some establishments).

So different, but at the same time so similar

Looking for similarities with Spain, David recalled the initial reluctance of the population to share their bank details and, after nodding, Alejandro commented on the need for a regulation to emerge that would provide the security sought by consumers of financial products and services. To protect them and remove any shadow of doubt.

Alejandro also commented that, like us, they have one of the most demanding certifications at international level, ISO 27001, applied to sensitive information processing and being fundamental for gaining users’ trust. They are also very attentive to any feedback they can offer, analyzing the customer journey and focusing on improving their experience. Interaction with the product, the abandonment rate or comments are key for them as a vector for innovation.

See you soon!

Finally, Alejandro reflected on how open banking will revolutionize the way financial products and services are offered (by institutions) and purchased (by users).

We can’t wait to see what this financial genius will build next!

It has been a real pleasure and an honor to have him in our Meets and we are sure that we will meet again soon in a new event in the Fintech world.

You can enjoy his full speech here.

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