Digitalising payments in Mexico: Miguel Valero interview

Miguel Valero, Director Banca Digital at Banorte, lead a speaker session titled ‘It’s a long way to the top if you want to Digitalize Mexico’ at PayExpo Europe 2017, which took place 4 & 5 October at London’s ExCeL.

Describe some of the digital banking innovations unique to Mexico.

Mexico were pioneers in the region, launching banking apps and shifting from hard token to soft token some years ago. Current innovations are becoming easier to replicate, so it is hard to maintain uniqueness. One development Mexican consumers appreciate is using their mobile phone to withdraw cash from machines instead of using their credit or debit card. Specific to Banorte is that we are the only current bank that substituted the numerical input reference at the cash machine for a bar code. Reading bar codes for cash withdrawal is really catching fire!

What are some of the latest trends that you are finding in the Central and South American banking sector?

We are definitely still trying to grow our digital customer base. I predict an appetite for biometrics in particular, as the usage of cameras and fingerprint readers to maximise customer experience is in every bank´s strategy.  However regulation and technology have not converged….. yet.

How do you see the banking needs of Central and South American customers differing from those in Western Europe?

I see many similarities between Latin America and Western Europe. There remains a mix of purposes for using technology: banking the unbanked and improving the customer experience

Are there any up and coming start-ups disrupting the banking sector in Mexico?

Not yet in the banking sector as I see it. Mexico is still fine tuning finttech laws and regulation and is the main reason why the market is still developing…watch this space.

How do you see Mexico’s banking and financial services develop in the next five years?

Banks will continue to use traditional channels, as well as local brick and mortar branches, nevertheless huge growth and competition will be focused in the digital, specific mobile sectors. As our wealthiest customer base starts shifting from older to younger, systems must be developed to serve our future and hopefully more profitable clients.

What are some primary challenges in making this a reality?

I think the key challenge is to shift paradigm by encouraging consumers to overcome their digital fears by embracing mobile adoption as a primary method of payments. As someone who has worked in the digital sector for a number of years, I have witnessed a legal environment to develop with start-up and banks and I look forward to watching that relationship continue to flourish.

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