Industry Insights

CL@B 2017: conclusions of the 17th financial technology and innovation conference

Miami, September 1, 2017 – The conference, organized jointly by the Florida International Bankers Association (FIBA) and the Federación Latinoamericana de Bancos (FELABAN), reunited more than 1,000 leaders to discuss the future of the industry.

“This has been a dynamic and exciting few days,” said David Schwartz, president and CEO of FIBA. “We set out to take a close look at the trends that are most impacting our transforming sector. I believe this goal was achieved: more than ever, the players realize they need nimbleness, flexibility and a customer-centric culture to succeed,” he concluded.

“Banks must adapt to new technologies and financial institutions must work hard for better financial inclusion of clients from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. In addition, this has to be supported by a variety of digital channels and innovation,” commented Juan Manuel Carvajal Castro, Export Advisor, Procolombia.

The key findings were:

Digital transformation & innovations: Corporations must push for close collaboration with Fintechs. This will be essential to create business models to respond to evolving customer demands. Banks must think as technology companies.

Cybersecurity: Latin America is the new frontier of cybercrime. However, even as this threat advances fast, regional institutions are still in denial. They need to react fast and prepare accordingly.

Big data/machine learning/AI: an staggering amount of data is being collected. The challenge is to turn it into predictive customer analytics and be able to offer better services.

Financial inclusion: People without access to banking offer one of the sector’s best business opportunities. But the ability to provide affordable services will be key.

Regulation: it is necessary, but it should not stifle innovation. Global standards must be set. The industry can not thrive in such a fragmented regulatory environment.

Virtual currencies: that’s the future, and it already manifests itself in many forms, such as reward cards, frequent flyer miles, reward programs and corporate pre-paid cards. Alternative methods will co-exist with real money.

“Protecting the finances of customers is more than an added value, it is about giving them the confidence to carry out transactions without worrying about losing data or investments,” said Roberto Arbeláez, Microsoft Chief Security Advisor for the Americas.

“Businesses are changing fast. Banking is no exception to the rule. New players, new regulations and new security threats emerge every day. Business models must adjust to meet these new challenges,” commented Gustavo Vega Villamil, president of CLAB. “The answer is collaboration, both internal and external.

September 1, 2017By Karina ZayasIndustry Insights, Press Releases

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