STORY INLINE POST
Now more than ever, it is imperative for companies to understand that investing in technology is a priority for the growth of their business and achieving better results than their competitors. Companies in Mexico have realized that being in this position inevitably means adopting business models based on innovation to avoid falling behind or, in the worst-case scenario, disappearing altogether.
Mexico has earned recognition for its substantial contributions to technological advancements across multiple sectors. An example of this is the fintech sector, which, according to the Fintech Radar Mexico 2023 report by Finnovista, exhibited a growth rate of 26% in 2022. The market now has 659 fintech companies, ranking Mexico No. 2 for the most fintechs in Latin America. Furthermore, the Fintech Radar Mexico report indicates that Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are the most widely used technology by fintechs (utilized by 60% of fintechs).
This simple fact has a significant implication: new companies are placing their bets on digital strategies based on APIs. These enable them to achieve agility in development, resource reuse, reduced time-to-market, improved time-to-value, enhanced customer experience, more sales and service channels, expanded connections with business partners, continuous improvement of launched products, channel monitoring, and metric extraction, among other benefits.
An example of this is Cielo, Brazil's leading payment processing company, which launched one of the most innovative strategies in the sector in the country a few years ago. The company analyzed its significant market leadership position and realized that in order to maintain it, the company needed to evolve rapidly and offer more value to its customers. With this in mind, they created Cielo Store, an application marketplace that allowed the management of different types of businesses and operated on the Android POS terminals it had developed. In this way, businesses not only had a device for receiving payments, but also one that helped them manage their own operations. Restaurants, clothing stores, and even churches could control their businesses through these applications.
This enabled the market to evolve through an ecosystem with more than 3,000 applications from different industries. It not only allowed Cielo to maintain a valuable position but also created an ecosystem around this new model, where even developers who were not part of the company used Cielo's APIs to build their solutions and strengthen the value proposition that the company was bringing to the market.
With this example, we recognize how important it is for business, not only in the payment or financial sectors, but in any industry, to implement an API platform that keeps them at the forefront of business innovation. An API strategy allows them to increase customer loyalty, centralize products based on user needs, provide security, and offer a connected and modernized user experience, breaking free from outdated processes.
Similarly, a mindset that embraces adopting new technological models within a company, prioritizing internal education, and cultivating a culture centered on staying well ahead of the competition drives business growth and enhances the broader ecosystem. This environment should continue to bring together various stakeholders to speak the same language and become a leading industry in the country.
So, what should traditional companies do?
Companies with legacy or outdated systems can participate in this digital transformation dynamic by partnering with a strategic ally, which can assess the performance and infrastructure of the systems and guide them through a continuous transition, preparing them for the future and new market trends.
To stay at the forefront of digital evolution, APIs are the key to integrating applications, devices, and business ecosystems swiftly and scalably, providing the ability to apply security and monitoring mechanisms. This integration will enable companies with archaic systems to reduce support costs, speed up problem resolution, and obtain operational insights.
During my professional journey, I've realized that technology acts as a facilitator, opening up new opportunities across various business areas and sectors. It is currently a bridge that, like APIs, helps connect different channels to result in an omnichannel customer service approach focused on optimizing and enhancing conditions for both the company and the user, who benefits from new services and experiences. APIs are among the most crucial and robust pieces every company should consider when taking their business to the next level.
It is not advisable for companies to continue resisting technology and let time pass before adopting advances and transformation mechanisms that will surely bring them new opportunities in their business, enhanced experiences, and introduce innovation to their entire ecosystem, both internally and externally.
The rapid technological advancements in Latin America have transformed societies and markets in the region. The new challenges that all sectors have faced, especially after the COVID-19 health crisis, have underscored the importance of having digital strategies as a top priority. In the case of the retail sector, companies had to understand customer needs and act promptly to avoid losing sales by bridging their physical and virtual channels. APIs, in this context, enable the integration of different digital products and services, such as wallets. Furthermore, they optimize business scalability by facilitating the processing of more transactions and prevent the occurrence of "virtual queues" or website crashes, thereby ensuring service quality.