In a country like Argentina, which is going through a new economic crisis and whose progress in digitalization is not happening evenly in all areas or in society as a whole, banking is an issue to be resolved. In this context, the business sector claims to be providing alternatives hand in hand with startups and fintechs.
“We are talking about a trend that has been going on for years, which reflects a gradual increase, but which clearly sets precedents for the scenario to come,” explains Julián Colombo, CEO and founder of N5, a fintech specializing in solutions for the financial industry. In this sense, he exemplified that “when applying for a loan, people and entities such as micro, small and medium-sized enterprises can be excluded because they do not meet all the requirements”.
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According to the latest report on the sector by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), fintechs grew by 37.3% between 2020 and 2021 and account for 11% of platforms in Latin America and the Caribbean—with 276 companies. Since 2017, the country has increased by 183.5%, above the average of other geographies in the region, which in the same period advanced 153%.
For Colombo, “the history and economic context of our country taught us to be attentive to any instrument that may be useful to us, and the fintech industry is the clearest example of this innovative approach.” “Digital transformation is a key player in improving the services available and including as many population segments as possible,” says the CEO, adding: “At N5 we understand that this is due to the characteristics of digitalization and that is why we aim to digitize operations without having to dismantle existing structures or get customers used to generic products.”
In the Argentine and regional fintech ecosystem, companies identify people’s needs, such as access to credit, and look for the opportunity to solve the challenge within the context we already know. According to the IDB, almost a quarter of fintechs worldwide are Latin American and Caribbean. Within the ranking, Argentina ranks fourth, behind Brazil, Mexico and Colombia. “This vision of economic resilience makes the potential of our industry enormous,” Colombo says.
Regarding the future, the executive believes that “it won’t be long before Digital Banking and Open Finance startups begin to grow.” Finally, he concluded: “With the new regulations and normative provisions of Open Banking and Open Finance in the Southern Cone, the innovation of fintech platforms will reach new levels and they will surprise us with services and products that, I am almost sure, we will not be able to imagine yet.”