Randall Castillo Ortega of RACO Investment explains how Latin America’s financial ecosystem is changing

The financial industry, in the last two years, has had an accelerated technological evolution. However, it must continue to adopt new solutions to captivate and satisfy its customers. Randall Castillo Ortega, founder of SME investor RACO Investment, highlights some trends that will be observed in the financial industry in 2022,

Although the world economy is growing again after a contraction of 4.3% in 2020, according to World Bank figures, the Covid-19 pandemic has marked a before and after for global economic projections in the 2020s.

Due to the situation, Latin America is one of the regions most affected by the health emergency. Their vulnerability to the economic impacts derived is greater as they have developing economies, highly dependent on raw materials in their productive structures. Therefore, the main government priorities in the short and medium-term are focused on controlling the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring a rapid and wide distribution of vaccines.

In general, we see that, throughout Latin America, even in the smallest countries, new regulations are being adopted to deliver new products and services. In addition, the young population and the high penetration of smartphones, make the region have enormous potential to adopt new solutions.

The landscape is changing and digital ecosystems are allowing a new financial culture to be generated. This allows more people to access services and manage their economy.

Open Banking is a global trend, but is relatively new in Latin America. Countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Chile are seeing great traction in this issue, with regulations that encourage its use, which aims to promote better access to financial products, with great benefits such as a lower cost in the processes and a better interaction with banking. Open Banking also promotes the competitiveness of the sector and the financial inclusion of the underserved population.

The consumer experience is evolving. “Speed and the need for speed are essential for consumers today,” asserts Castillo, “as it is the way they ask for transportation, products and services. In this sense, banking must also be updated and delivered from the first interaction with the consumer, a better experience.”

There is a good base in Latin America for the penetration of financial technology companies (FinTechs) due to the number of smartphones that exist in the region. Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico see a great growth of new startups, which provide new ways to acquire products and services. This will lead to millions of new accounts being opened and more people with the possibility of acquiring new products.

The adoption of the cloud is catching on. For both big players and FinTechs, the focus and interest are on the Cloud. Banks are changing their legacy platforms and modernizing them in the cloud, and 2022 will see this more and more. “For financial institutions, the Cloud is fundamental. Entities are looking to do things efficiently and digitally, with projects that are quick to deploy in the cloud and that can be scaled,” adds Castillo.

People with disabilities face many difficulties on a daily basis, not only in real life, but also on the Internet. Many times, websites do not adapt when someone decides to increase the font size, or sometimes the Apps cannot be used by blind people. 2022 will most often see the incorporation of tools that allow the industry to offer products and services that interact in a better way with all consumers.

Traditional banks must approach the population that is not served financially, which is achieved by being digital, fast and secure and delivering a reliable experience. The offer of the sector must be extended to other ways of relating to customers, linking them through their daily lives and making them part of the ecosystem.

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