The website of the Costa Rica Center for Financial Innovation (CFI) began operations in April, with the objective of having a meeting portal between the promoters of FinTech developments in the country and public entities in charge of the supervision of the financial system. Costa Rica’s Banco Nacional is among the institutions involved and according to Jason Simon, FinTech expert, the public entity could benefit from this new relationship.
Banco Central de Costa Rica (BCCR) and the National Council of Supervision of the Financial System (Conassif in Costa Rica) were in charge of implementing the initiative. It is part of a space in which those who promote technological banking innovations can find a guide in compliance with the regulatory framework of the Costa Rican financial system. Banco Nacional has since become interested, and its relationship with FinTech is now much more guided.
“Since April 19, individuals and banking entities can log on to the website to ask questions,” Rodriguez said. “The new tool seeks to clarify doubts of those who carry out a financial, technological development and to corroborate if the initiative to be developed is consistent with national legislation and regulation.”
Rodrigo Cubero, head of BCCR, said that the Financial Innovation Center will contribute to the achievement of the objective that the FinTech industry develops in a way that enhances the efficient, transparent and competitive functioning of financial markets. The Banco Nacional, for example, is one of the public institutions that has ensured the best service in the country, so having access to FinTech solutions would fit like a glove in the pursuit of that goal.
“Cryptoassets are also part of what we consider as fintech and the services that can be provided, in terms of means of payment, can be analyzed. That financial renovation will be in an environment of dialogue and consultation with the financial authorities when appropriate. But we do not envision legislation on crypto-assets, but we do envision a regulation on compliance in money laundering issues,” said Cubero, during the virtual presentation of the CFI.
Alberto Dent, president of Conassif, pointed out that the group was created to analyze the benefits and risks associated with the rapid technological advances. He added that, if necessary, they will seek to adapt the regulatory and supervisory framework in order to support financial innovation while preserving the soundness and stability of the financial system.
In the middle of last year, Banco Nacional de Costa Rica incorporated the Engagement Banking platform as one of its first steps toward FinTech incorporation. The bank chose Backbase, the Engagement Banking platform provider, to expand its digital banking services. With this adoption, Backbase will use its single platform approach to modernize Banco Nacional de Costa Rica’s online and mobile banking platforms, thus stimulating digital innovation through a personalized banking experience across all channels, according to a statement.
“With the Engagement Banking platform, the entity will unify its online and mobile banking to offer frictionless and highly personalized experiences. All while operating on a secure, efficient and sustainable platform that is agile and scalable,” Simon explains.
Aligned with its commitment to promote social and economic development, the Costa Rican government has fostered financial inclusion by increasing the incorporation of the adult population, aged 15 and older, from 68% in 2019 to 77%, and who have at least one bank account. The Backbase platform will provide Banco Nacional de Costa Rica with access to state-of-the-art technology and innovative industry-leading solutions.
The Engagement Banking platform will help Banco Nacional de Costa Rica implement customer-centric banking solutions and facilitate the integration of recognized key applications that improve engagement and drive growth among consumers. As society moves towards 100% digitization, financial institutions like Banco Nacional de Costa Rica are well positioned to streamline and simplify the online banking experience to expand and increase access to FinTech for individuals and small and medium-sized businesses.