The 2019 edition of Finnosummit is the first where LendIt Fintech and Finnovista joined forces to hold a joint event in Latin America. The co-founder and CEO of LendIt Fintech declared in this event that “Technology and innovation require iterative research and experimentation.”
In the Finnosummit, more than 700 attendees were able to listen to 150 speakers and where startups, investors, and innovation executives dress up to announce their new movements, meet new collaborators and discover new trends in the sector. The event was held in Miami, a city that has become a tech-hub for Latin America.
Among the most outstanding presentations is that of Visa and Novapayment, who expanded their collaboration to facilitate the implementation of APIs with financial institutions in Latin American markets and, thus, offer more digital solutions. “We have built a network in 11 countries and launched more than one hundred APIs,” explained Novopayment CEO Anabel Pérez, regarding the announcement during his speech at FINNOSUMMIT.
Nexoos published a white paper in which he analyzes the reasons why the loan market for small and medium enterprises in Brazil will take center stage in the coming years.
Creating connections in Latin America
In the Finnosummit event, networking took a special place. Attendees were in 1400 meetings to find potential collaborators to open doors for new investments, alliances, or technological collaborations.
In the event, twelve finalist startups of the Visa Everywhere Initiative LAC competition presented their pitch. The Mexican startup Flexio was the winner of the contest. This startup is dedicated to offering installment loans for online purchases using the consumer debit card.
The final in FINNOSUMMIT is the culmination of a six-month innovation program to which 197 startups initially applied. For the first time in the framework of the Visa Everywhere Initiative LAC, entrepreneurs were called upon to solve three specific challenges related to the Visa business and the main challenges of the digital payment industry in the Latin American region.
Among all the applications, the Visa and Finnovista team selected the 24 best solutions that participated in 4 Collaborative Innovation Workshops with Visa and its clients in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, and Bogotá and in which 12 were chosen finalists In addition to Flexio who was the winner, the finalists were: Facenote, Druber and Pareto SA of Argentina; DinDin, Zen Finance and Zrobank of Brazil; Peiky, Tiendapp, and Zinobe from Colombia; Pay it from Guatemala and Kublau from Mexico.
Before their participation in the final, the 12 finalists participated in a five-week immersion program, whose objective was the preparation of potential pilots or proof of concept (POC) in collaboration with Visa executives.
The CEO of Flexio, Nathan Schorr, explained that “90% of the 300 billion debit cards are used only to withdraw money.” “We are giving the cardholder a reason to have more money in his account and to use it more often. That is directly linked to Visa’s strategy and objectives,” he added regarding the reasons why they were chosen.
“From the inception of Flexio, we understood that we wanted to be an important player in the ecosystem and be able to impact millions of lives. It was necessary to be able to generate partnerships with the players: Visa, banks, payment aggregators, and merchants,” he said.
The winner of the innovation program, which will receive $ 50,000USD and the opportunity to develop a joint pilot with Visa as a prize, highlighted the benefits of having worked for hand in hand with Visa during the last five weeks. “What we take beyond the prize are the contacts in the Visa environment. We have met 6-7 contacts of people who want to innovate with us,” he said.
Asked if he would advise other entrepreneurs to participate in the Visa Everywhere Initiative LAC, he affirmed: “This is my third startup, and I am looking for the highest level of enjoyment of the people I work with.” “On Visa, they have proven to have a fantastic human side. They are people who know that they do it, and that is a perfect combination” when designing projects that involve large corporations and startups, he said.
“At Visa, our mission is to connect the world with innovative and inclusive payment solutions. We know that one of the keys to accelerating the adoption of digital payments is to collaborate with the best Fintech in the region,” said Arnoldo Reyes, vice president of Digital Alliances, Fintech and Entrepreneurships for Visa Latin America and the Caribbean.
“At Finnovista, we believe that the next step to implement disruptive solutions in the sector is the effective collaboration between startups and companies, and we are very proud of the results of this year’s Visa Everywhere Initiative. For the first time, the 12 finalist startups spent five weeks of effectively managing innovation in a powerful immersion program. Therefore, as of today, Flexio will be prepared to launch a pilot product that solves the future challenges of the digital payment industry,” said Andrés Fontao, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Finnovista.
Regulators prepare for ‘big techs’
Industry regulators also talked about how Fintechs are changing the financial industry. This is a position held by those responsible for the central banks of some of the most prominent ecosystems in Latin America. Laura Clavijo, Director of Innovation of the Financial Superintendence of Colombia; Carlos Orta, of Deloitte in Mexico and Jorge Alexandre Casara, of the Office of Risk Supervision of the CVM of Brazil, analyzed phenomena such as the arrival of tech big techs’ to a field reserved so far for startups and banks.