The OMNi super app is appropriately named because it allows consumers to do everything from rent a bike to make purchases with a digital wallet. These and more transactions have the mission of making life easier for the users of OMNi, a Costa Rican company with FinTech at its center. Jason Simon, a FinTech and eCommerce expert, explains how OMNi is putting the Central American country on the map and jumpstarting its FinTech ecosystem.
FinTech is a combination of finance and technology, and the OMNi super app is, at its heart, a FinTech company. The super app is a technological layer that allows you to distribute and create financial products in a 100% digital way to promote financial inclusion in the country. “Costa Rica has significant banking capabilities and a wide penetration of mobile phone use among citizens,” explains Simon. “These are conditions that help the adoption of new technologies, and OMNi has been able to fill a void that was desperately needing attention in the country.”
A study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) suggested that Costa Rica bet on the inclusion of technology in its financial scheme, instead of taking its development cues from other countries. This could improve competition between markets, reduce intermediation margins (cost of financial services) and transaction costs, which is beneficial for consumers. This is where OMNi has been able to excel.
OMNi stated, “The success we have had in this time is due firstly to the talent of our team; then to the active listening we have done with our community of users so that through technology we can solve their immediate needs. Finally, the ability of the company’s structure to be a technological exploration laboratory. We are close to reaching two years in operation and we are prepared to face all the challenges ahead of us, such as our expansion to the US, Mexico and the Central American and Caribbean region. As part of this new stage, we are on our way to investment rounds of $250 million while constantly generating alliances in this region of the world. However, what we are experiencing is just the beginning of a digital revolution from Costa Rica to the rest of the world.”
Although Costa Rica does not have a fully developed scheme for FinTech companies, it is a good prospect to do so. Among its main virtues are technological infrastructure, qualified human capital, solid education in science and technology and English language skills as a channel to facilitate contact with companies at an international level. “Currently, Costa Rica is making inroads into the area with the digitization of services,” asserts Simon. “This, in turn, is driving a reinvigoration of the country’s financial system, and OMNi is a promoter of this development.”
Physical fiat is something more of the past, as virtual payment solutions, such as debit cards, payment apps on smartphones and more, become more prevalent. A wallet no longer needs to be a physical product, but can now be virtual. OMNi’s value offer from its super app is to be able to have a number of services from the different verticals to facilitate the life of all our users from within the same ecosystem.
OMNi’s super app has developed a network based on QR codes that arrives to separate traditional payment systems through the use of secure technology. Making a transfer is as easy as taking a photo and scanning the QR code and, within a matter of seconds, payment is delivered and the transaction is complete. Because the super app is a digital solution, it is safer and easier to use than conventional fiat.