This week’s edition of Finovate Global looks at recent fintech news from Colombia.
The largest Spanish-speaking country in South America, Colombia is located in the northwest corner of the continent. With a population of more than 52 million, Colombia has the third largest economy in South America and the fourth largest in Latin America. More than 11 million people live in the country’s capital city of Bogota.
Earlier this year, the Colombian government indicated its support for open banking and open finance. Specifically, the government included the establishment of an open banking scheme as part of its National Development Plan. The fact that the current government endorsed an initiative that began with the previous administration was seen as an especially constructive sign for the future of open banking and open finance in Colombia.
One way to keep up with fintech news from Colombia is via Colombia Fintech. With information in both Spanish and English, Colombia Fintech is an association of fintech companies based in Colombia. The association provides news on Colombian fintechs, updates on relevant developments on the government and regulatory front, as well as opportunities for networking. Colombia Fintech counts more than 240 members in its community. The association was formed in 2016.
As for recent Colombian fintech news, Bogota-based payments and data security company Intexus announced a partnership with security software company Entrust this week. Intexus will use Entrust’s digital card and instant issuance technology to support its card-as-a-service solution. The partnership is designed to enable banks and credit unions in Latin America to benefit from a unified payment card program.
“We have long been in the digital era and today’s consumers are accustomed to having resources at their fingertips instantaneously,” Intexus CEO David Rojas said. “Our partnership with Entrust allows us to simplify payment enablement for our bank and credit union customers throughout Latin America so they can focus on building relationships with their cardholders and members.”
Intexus serves clients in eight Latin American countries and issues more than 100,000 cards a month. The company was founded in 1997. Entrust provides solutions to help businesses offer trusted experiences for identity, payments, and data. Founded in 1969, the company has been a Finovate alum since 2015 when it presented its technology as part of our developers conference, FinDEVr SiliconValley.
Speaking of partnerships between Finovate alums and Colombian financial interests, we also learned this week that Ripple has entered into a new collaboration with the country’s central bank. As reported in CoinDesk, Banco de la República will test the effectiveness of Ripple’s CBDC platform to enhance Colombia’s high-value payments system. The pilot is being conducted in partnership with the country’s Ministry for the Information and Communications Technologies (MinTIC). Spanish blockchain company Peersyst Technology is also participating.
The goal of the project is to demonstrate the platform’s ability to improve the speed and reduce costs for large scale, wholesale payments, RTGS systems and similar operations, Joe Vollono, a director of CBDC business development at Ripple indicated. The project is scheduled to continue through the end of the year, and is being conducted in a controlled environment without compromising public resources.
As noted in The Paypers coverage of the announcement, Ripple previously partnered with Colombia last year to put land titles on the blockchain as part of a land redistribution program. Peersyst Technology was also a part of this initiative to permanently store and authenticate property titles on Ripple’s public blockchain.
Founded in 2012, Ripple made its Finovate debut as OpenCoin at FinovateSpring the following year. Rebranded as Ripple in 2015, the company has since grown into an innovative payment protocol and exchange network. Use cases of the company’s technology range from cross-border payments to crypto liquidity to CBDCs. Ripple’s customers include Novatti, Modulr, and Siam Commercial Bank. Chris Larsen is CEO.
Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.
Central and Southern Asia
- India-based Fino Payments Bank launched its spending account courtesy of a partnership with Hubble.
- Global consumer finance company Pepper Group announced plans to invest $150 million over the next four years to establish a fintech company in India.
- A report from IIFL Fintech analyzed fintech funding trends in India in 2022.
Latin America and the Caribbean
- Ripple announced a collaboration with the Central Bank of Colombia
- Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions teamed up with Brazil-based banking and payments software company Pismo.
- Security software company Entrust partnered with Colombia’s Intexus to enhance payments for banks in Latin America.
- The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced its intention to establish a stablecoin regulatory regime by 2024.
- The Bank of Thailand introduced a retail CBDC pilot.
- MoneyCollect, a payments provider based in Hong Kong, launched its In-page checkout solution for online payments.
- Visa announced the launch of its Africa Fintech Accelerator program
- Nigerian fintech Nomba raised $30 million in a round led by Base10 Partners.
- CBNC Africa looked at Rwanda’s path toward becoming an international financial hub.
Central and Eastern Europe
- PKO Bank Polski unveiled a new system of valued-added services (VAS).
- Austrian fintech Vipaso (Vienna Payment Solutions) teamed up with Visa to launch a new app, ViennaPay.
- France’s Market Pay agreed to acquire Poland-based payments technology company Novelpay.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- UAE-based banking app Bankiom announced plans to launch prepaid cards courtesy of a partnership with Mastercard.
- Saudi Arabia’s Bank Abilad is the first financial institution in the kingdom to offer open banking services.
- Mastercard forged a strategic agreement with Jordan Ahli Bank.