Rodrigo García de la Cruz is an Industrial Engineer at Robotics, a graduate in Business Administration and Management and one of the leading experts in digital currency in Spain. For more than ten years, it has strongly promoted the field fintech (financial technology) as an entrepreneur, investor, influential person and teacher. He is currently the President of the Spanish Association of Fintech and Insurtech (Combination of Technology and Insurance).Insurance, As an expert in the field, we asked him about a variety of topics related to his field, such as the progressive disappearance of cash, cryptocurrencies, or the tech giant’s threat to traditional banking businesses.
– What does the sector contribute? fintech ordinary citizens?
-There are two types of companies in our field: those that serve the end user (business to consumeror B2C) and aimed at corporate user (business to Business, or B2B). People on the street know more about B2C companies (Fintonic, Revolut), but B2B companies have a significant amount. B2C is becoming increasingly important for financial inclusion in places like Latin America or Africa. There are many people out there who don’t have access to current accounts because they didn’t want to or because they didn’t have the technical capability. With the advent of mobile phones, practically everyone has one and banks or digital loan platforms have emerged. In the case of more mature countries, fintech They solve a problem; They provide value that current companies do not provide, from an innovative standpoint, too digital and with a great user experience, or access to financial services that you didn’t have before. One example is PayPal, which I call the grandfather of fintech, It basically solves the problem of online charging and paying securely. Not that it’s cheap; In fact, it is often more expensive than a bank, but it solves a problem and people use it.
-Other digital media create more doubts in terms of security; For example, cryptocurrencies.
In association we have thirteen verticals. cryptocurrencies and blockchain This is only one of them, but it is also one of the most noisy generators. Bitcoin was born out of a transactional vision, but apparently there are those who have viewed it as an investment asset. We recently spoke with the chairman of the National Securities Markets Commission (CNMV) about this issue. There are cryptocurrency companies that are doing great, but there is always someone clever who tries to take advantage. I think we will see cryptocurrencies work, but people have to be educated. They are high risk investments, and you need to be very well informed. These types of companies that are integrated into our union follow an ethical code, but there are some outside of our environment that don’t do things well.
How do you see the relationship between traditional banking and banks? fintech,
There has been a big change in recent years. Before the pandemic they saw it as a very competitive environment. Then they realized they had to digitize more and offer customers what they see internationally. Area fintech It is very global and very democratic. If something shows up and works in America, it will quickly reach Spain. Banks have realized that they have to work and cooperate with the sector fintech, It is imperative that this happens, because if it doesn’t, the financial sector will not have the ability to accelerate the innovation that its customers are seeking. The most economically advanced countries are those which have a fintech Serious and cooperative. We look at how major international banks, JP Morgan, Citibank, Barclays, BBVA or Santander, are investing in and buying companies fintech Because it’s the only way to increase the speed.
Some time ago there was such discussion that big technology companies can eat the business of banks. Is this still the case?
The danger continues, and it will always be on the table. In fact, since Apple launched the iPhone, it has done little more than move into financial services. You already have Apple Pay, the integrated card, to be able to make payments. Google is also working as an integrator of banking interactions in the US. What happens is they want to be where there is data, commissions, information, which is basically in payments. They don’t want to get into products like loans because they can’t scale them. Google still holds a European banking license; The other thing is if you want to use it however you can. Its Asian competitors are already doing it all. WeChat is a leisure and social application, but above all financial: you can pay, save, transact, invest everything all through the super app. It’s true that China’s scale is easy, and in other cases you’ll have to go country by country, but it’s a danger that still remains. This is the biggest threat to the financial sector as well as the financial sector. fintechwhich is also very important. A very relevant restructuring of the financial sector and reduction of institutions has occurred. The end customer sometimes has access to fewer opportunities, but the area fintech It is covering them and increasing the market share step by step.
-In a recent interview you said that France invests a lot in this sector fintech And Spain could do more.
We are infinitely better than we were five years ago. Six or seven years ago there was only one fund specialized in fintech And now there are many. We have made a wonderful qualitative leap, but being self-critical, we still have a lot to do. France was in the amount of investment fintech They are cruel. In the first quarter, it ranked fourth worldwide. They are way ahead of us. It would be good to understand the importance of companies to the ecosystem in general because in the end, if we don’t do this, our ideas will spread less quickly than others or end up in the hands of other foreigners, which is a Is. Shame on national talent.
One of the common topics that gets talked about in your field is related to the end of cash. How do you see it?
-It is a no-return route for several reasons: first, because it is financially and managementally very inefficient; Second, because clearly the states are going to have more control over the transactions, and that is in their interest. Cash payments are also being reduced: previously up to 3,000 euros could be made, and now up to 1,000. On the other hand, the digital euro continues to develop and we will have it in Europe in three or four years. Some might say they are interested in cash because they work in B, but those of us who pay taxes are in A. I think there is no need to be afraid of digital money. The pandemic has been a real turning point. There are some people who say that alms cannot be given if there is no cash. There are technical solutions to micro-donations. Today, switching to digital money or credit cards means everything is an advantage; Health wise too: Bills and coins contain all the bacteria in the world. Banks are enchanted and it is much more comfortable for people.
Rodrigo García de la Cruz: “Cash will disappear as states are interested”