How important is Mexico within your international expansion strategy?
MARCELO GONZÁLEZ Almost 60% of our current market share comes from Mexico. One of our first clients in Mexico was Banorte, one of the most recognized and prominent banks in the country. Over the past 15 years, we have led the digital transformation of Mexico's financial industry, as one of the first companies to develop mobile apps. We were pioneers in the implementation of biometrics, notifications, tokenized cards, and soft tokens. We have led the entire process, always as the first or second company to do so in Latin America. There is no doubt that Mexico's market is extremely competitive, especially between national and prestigious international banks. However, it is precisely this high degree of progress when incorporating new technologies that pushes Mexican banks to be competitive.
WILLIAM MOSS Mexico is one of our most promising markets today, as its financial services market has needs that can be satisfied by COBIS, with its highly innovative financial service models, including microfinance and systemic banking. We have picked up great momentum in Mexico, driven by our potential to effectively address its many current and substantially unmet financial service needs. It is also a location where “North meets South," more so than in other countries where we operate, and in a way that “maps" to our own experience and positioning. In Mexico, we can bring the perspectives of a US software company and of a Latin American company and in support of banking and a whole new sector where Mexico is leading in many respects: fintechs. The uniqueness of Cobiscorp can serve powerful business initiatives not only directed toward Mexico, but also out from there to other countries. Our talent base in Mexico has grown rapidly, not just supporting clients but also developing intellectual property. Our future in Mexico is promising, and we will continue to invest in the market; our focus will be to expand our CobisCloud offering, introduce more innovative solutions, and drive deeper into financial inclusion.
What opportunities have you identified within the digital transformation of Mexico's fintech sector and financial sector?
MG An area of opportunity is to change people's mindset and push the financial industry into recognizing that clients must be born digital. Most operations today done digitally; transactions like payments, purchases, transfers, and money withdrawals can be done through mobile phones. However, these actions were originally done via traditional methods, and digitalizing them would include a high cost for banks, especially with the current COVID-19 pandemic where the cost of anything that has to be physically distributed, such as cards or passwords, is expensive. We are working on an 100% digital experience where people can directly open an account from any remote location and only require an ID. This way more people are digitally based from the beginning. Biometric and other technologies would also be helpful in the shift toward digitalization, and we are convinced that new customer service models will also evolve. There is a big opportunity for growth in Mexico as banks increasingly require digital services. In this case, VeriTran's low-code platform enables banks to accelerate and simplify digital application development. We have also been pleasantly surprised that in Mexico, banks compete to advertise their applications, an unthinkable concept a few years ago.
WM Increasing investments in digital banking over the past few years is largely due to the success of popular finance. According to World Bank data, 63% of Mexican people rely solely on cash, so there is still a huge financial inclusion gap. We see this as an opportunity to serve Mexico well. Many of our large commercial bank clients are changing their appetite; these players who were once focused purely on top-of-pyramid clients are now eyeing the SME market. There are also many new competitors, such as innovative fintechs pushing the boundaries of Mexican banking, and it is evident they will bring much-needed innovation. We are excited about the recent launch of a project to implement COBIS at leading fintech startup in Mexico, empowering their effort to better serve the Mexican SME market. There are institutions which, like Santander, have become attracted to serving the growing population of micro-entrepreneurs, of which there are many, especially post-COVID. We see all these new trends as an immense opportunity to add value to all types of financial entities.