KoiSummit 2023: Leaders of the Colombian financial sector debate the future of the industry
The financial system of Colombia and Latin America is in an accelerated process of transformation that experts analyze as a true reinvention, driven both by the need to add value propositions for users and by the availability of technological enablers, such as technology blockchain and artificial intelligence.
This was stated, among others, by representatives of Grupo Bancolombia , Davivienda , Credibanco, Banco Cooperativo Coopcentral and Fiduoccidente meeting with regulators, technological entrepreneurs and protagonists of the fintech world in the second edition of the KoiSummit held on October 3 in Bogotá.
Under the motto “Transforming the financial future” , the event organized by Koibanx – a pioneer company in providing blockchain infrastructure for the Latin American financial system – added the vision of Visa , Buda , Binance , Tpaga , Algorand , Colombia Fintech , Rappi , Neomoon , WCS , marketXM , Santiago Stock Exchange , Colombia Stock Exchange , The Network Company and government entities, such as the Financial Superintendence , Banco de la República and the Ministry of ICT, who announced the transformation process that the sector is going through since they began incorporating solutions with Blockchain and Web3.
“ Currently, the financial sector is in a scenario of collaboration between traditional financial entities and fintechs. In this sense, standards such as Open Finance and technologies such as blockchain, which offers a technological layer that makes it easier for financial institutions to communicate with each other without compromising their competitive interests, can interconnect and enable real interoperability. “We seek to enable the exchange of value in multiple formats on a Web3 basis for the traditional financial system ,” said Leo Elduayen, CEO and co-founder of Koibanx .
Daniel Henao, corporate banking solutions structuring manager at Davivienda , assured that the bank defined specific segments of ecosystems among its clients, to then find the connection between one and the other. “ We banks are reinventing ourselves. At Davivienda we are clear that in addition to offering commodity services, we must turn around and understand that we are part of an ecosystem and that the companies that are our clients also form them. What we are looking for is to articulate these ecosystems and become allies ,” he said.
In this way, Davivienda aims to support its clients not only with traditional services such as credit or opening an account, but by understanding what their real problems are and providing solutions, for example, technological ones, that the bank already knows and for which it has partners such as fintechs or SMEs in the sector.
Meanwhile, Juan Pablo Ramírez, Blockchain and Crypto leader of Grupo Bancolombia , added that “it is important to recognize the ability to bring together entrepreneurs or allies, since with them you can improve the value proposition and give more visibility to technology as an enabler .”
Considering that banks are articulators that seek to add value beyond their traditional services, both traditional financial institutions and the most recent players have the challenge of creating, in Colombia and Latin America, an interoperable ecosystem between financial entities (banks, fintechs) that be connected, automated and allow the multiple forms of transactions that users currently demand.
Precisely being an interoperated transactional hub is the objective that Coopcentral highlighted during the KoiSummit. Ronny Ramírez, vice president of the cooperative bank (which focuses on the B2B business) assured that, although they are interested in having a financial interaction first, what will really generate value for their clients is interoperability in all types of ecosystems.
The executive commented that they are working with clinics that may include credit operations to finance surgical interventions from their core, or with financial education projects directly developed with wallets that carry the brand of the university or college.
“ We have the challenge of integrating our core banking with blockchain, to work with different digital assets and make exchanges with different currencies ,” Ramírez completed .
How open finance is changing the way the financial world is conceived and operated was one of the topics that starred in the conversation during the various KoiSummit panels.
“ Open Finance and its interoperability edge is one of the great opportunities for improvement that can be achieved with Web3. At Koibanx we have invested a lot in achieving connections through banking APIs in all the countries where we operate, connections to card processing networks, deposit licenses, so that any token we issue with our platform interoperates on traditional rails on the real economy, That is, to pay for services, a card or make any transaction ,” commented the CEO of Koibanx .
“ We also see that, since Latin America is a market that highly depends on remittances, users have been learning from the efficiencies that blockchain can bring, in terms of timing, fees and intermediaries. Also, the penetration of the internet and more advanced cell phones is growing substantially, so people have access to new technologies and information to learn about what crypto is in general, ” added Daniel Acosta , country manager of Binance .
Credibanco and Koibanx, an alliance that promotes interoperability
In a scenario in which the regulatory framework is little by little pushing financial entities to communicate more with each other and in which users demand transactions with multiple assets, Web3 technology and the possibility that blockchain offers to transact value in a way digital, decentralized and programmable, makes them natural enablers of interoperability.
Proof of this is the alliance that Credibanco and Koibanx announced during the event. The companies confirmed that, with this agreement, they are promoting the interoperability of payment methods in Colombia by taking advantage of blockchain technology to convert Credibanco’s acquisition network into a recipient of assets such as loyalty points, gift cards or vouchers, that is say value formats for users.
For Ricardo Zambrano , president of Credibanco , “ There are several assets that are part of a closed ecosystem and also need interoperability. Blockchain gives us the possibility of tokenizing them and carrying out transactions with them at the point of sale. Thanks to this, assets that previously moved in closed circles, such as loyalty points, can now enjoy interoperability, opening them up to a greater variety of options. In this case, the loyalty points that users have not been able to spend or redeem are tokenized, allowing them to spend them at any access point in the Credibanco network. “Each entity applies this technology according to the type of clients it has and their needs .”
The collaboration between Credibanco and Koibanx is “ a great step towards interoperability and Open Finance in Colombia ,” said Leo Elduayen.
“ Although initially simpler assets such as loyalty points, gift cards or vouchers are contemplated, the technological foundation is being laid so that in the future this same network is prepared to handle more complex assets,” he concluded .
At the end of the event, the CEO and co-founder of Koibanx highlighted the relevance of technology as an essential enabler and how he envisions the advancement of this inexorable growth path of decentralized finance.
“ The technology makes it possible to represent real-world assets -tangible or intangible- in their digital version of the blockchain, that is, tokenize them. It doesn’t matter if it is the harvest of coffee, soybeans, square meters of real estate or Colombian pesos, the value will depend on who issues it. If it is done by a financial institution authorized to custody, which has the asset in legal possession, in conjunction with blockchain technology that meets all the requirements to be used as a means of transactional registration, then we are talking about the use of Web3 under compliance that allows different types of assets to be energized and interoperated in different transactions ,” concluded Leo Elduayen.
In its 2023 edition, the KoiSummit was presented as an essential dialogue forum for the country, providing a space to understand and embrace the technological revolution that is transforming the financial industry.
Internationally renowned experts and local leaders confirmed the need to promote the integration of advanced technologies in the Colombian financial sector, to raise awareness about the importance of tokenization and the interoperability of payments and to promote regional collaboration in the adoption of practices avant-garde, to continue positioning Colombia as a center of innovation in Latin America.
Founded in 2015, Koibanx is a pioneering fintech company in providing blockchain infrastructure for the financial system of Latin America, leading the technological revolution of the industry in the region by providing asset transaction and tokenization services to the banking and financial sector of Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, El Salvador and Uruguay.
Through its platform, its clients’ infrastructure becomes more secure, agile and profitable for payments, factoring and asset tokenization, thus enabling the possibility of reaching new market segments.
Koibanx works by building the rails that enable multi-asset payments, converting the holdings of the financial system into liquid ones, allowing mixed and partial payments to be made using digital currencies, fiat money, securities, commodities and loyalty points.
More information: https://www.koibanx.com/