Luis Fernando Sánchez
CEO
Intelligential Mexico
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Intelligential: Technology Adapted to Financial Companies

By Andrea Villar | Wed, 09/09/2020 - 10:24

Q: What is Intelligential’s value proposition for the Mexican market?

A: Intelligential was born from the difficulty that companies in the financial sector have with developing and implementing technology in their processes. Often, one of the biggest concerns for finance and fintech companies is finding a technological team to help them generate this type of solution. The common goal for finance companies is to generate a suitable product for the market and to develop differentiators in their business that make them competitive against others. That is achieved through technology.

Finance companies, today and more than ever, need to use technological tools. Having a team specialized in technology is not common in a traditional finance company. Moreover, the degree of specialized knowledge required to generate a credit origination and loan management platform is extremely high. For finance companies, it implies huge costs in technology equipment and a great deal of time invested in development. One of the most common mistakes is that they use specialized tools that at first can be quite expensive but are not suitable for the Mexican environment.

Intelligential helps the financial sector by developing a platform that can work in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, which can help financial companies to ride the fintech wave with cutting-edge technology, while taking advantage of knowledge specific to the Mexican financial sector. These technological solutions can be installed in a matter of weeks and in this way, companies can forget about software administration and focus only on their core business, which is to offer a competitive financial product.

Q: What do you tell financial companies still on the fence of digital transformation?

A: Finance companies mainly turn to us when they have already recognized this need in their company. Without a doubt, digitalization is imminent for all players in the market. Once they recognize this, their biggest concern is the cost and effort needed for the transformation. When we meet for the first time with company directors to demonstrate our platform, they usually already have the initiative to start this process. They know that whoever does not transform digitally will gradually disappear from the competition.

In each of these meetings, the main concern is to understand our tool. Once they grasp it, it is very easy for decision-makers to understand or even visualize the functionalities they need in their operation. There are two main doubts: the implementation time and the cost of the process. These concerns are well-founded because generally a digital transformation, if tailored, takes at least six months. For some, it may be a one-year process, while the cost can reach millions of pesos. However, when we talk about a personalized SaaS that is developed with the sole intention to be coupled to the operation of any financial company, we are talking about implementation times of two to four weeks, in which we can completely customize its operation. The costs of renting a SaaS are quite reasonable and it helps companies achieve their goals.

When a finance company is not clear about what it needs to digitalize, the first step is to show them what its competitors are doing. Currently, online credit tools are very intuitive. Using Intelligential platform and third-party providers’ API connections, documents for the online credit application, for example, can be managed automatically, including online reviewing of identities and credit information. Previously, these processes involved many people and, therefore, were susceptible to human error. Today, everything is done online in a matter of minutes. Users fill out a digital application, the fintech connects to all available information services and in five minutes they can tell you if you are approved for a loan or not. For many companies, that is outside their operational parameters. There is a great opportunity to migrate to technological services in Mexico.

Q: Where in the financial business processes is digitalization crucial?

A: We divide our platform into three modules, according to the level of digital transformation that a financial company wants to achieve. The first part is everything that has to do with the online credit application, this ranges from a button on the webpage to apply for credit to an online form where companies can request all the client's data, official documents and online signature. The second module works after an application is received and consists on having the entire approval process programmed with some levels of automation, the most important factor is credit analysis and risk management, where all the available information is used to make the best credit decision and control the risk levels of the company.

At present, the sources of information are many and every day there are new providers of information available. We have access to common information for the financial sector, such as that from a credit bureau. But we also have a great deal of disruptive information that can be collected with the use of technology. For example, we can see how long a user took to fill out the credit application, what keys they hit, how many times they visited the page, among other data. Big Data allows us to understand a great deal more about the person who requests a loan and for this, artificial intelligence processes are necessary, which allow management of all the information and exploiting it, generating decision-making models both to grant a loan and for the collection process.

Finally, our third module allows financial institutions to manage client profiles and loans with a highly customizable Banking Core, with all the advantages of cloud computing and easiness to launch new products in a matter of hours, creating new market and financial value.

Q: What are the biggest obstacles encountered when digitalizing finance companies in Mexico?

A: The first hurdle is mapping their procedure. The first step to start a transformation process is to be able to clearly map the process and from there define which parts are going to be automated and which parts are going to follow a manual process. Mapping the processes is relevant because most companies in the sector have quite complex processes with high levels of customization. This is why the first meetings with clients are key to fully understanding the entire operation of the company. We do not seek to change the process but rather to understand it and then adapt the technology.

Another challenge is for all internal areas of the company to understand the product. Once this is ready and the company has understood the value that the transformation will bring, we are one step ahead. Each finance company has a completely different value offering and although we like to think that we are prepared for any financial product, the reality is that we always find quite innovative, personalized ideas with characteristics that we had not seen before. Once companies see the value that digitalization brings to their project, such as time optimization and Big Data at all levels of the operation, the rest of the process is an adaptation that lasts a couple of months before companies are fully digitalized.

 

Intelligential is a technology company specialized in the financial sector. Through its platform, banks, traditional finance companies and fintech startups can create financial products, receive applications, grant credit and manage their simple, revolving and factoring credit portfolio

Andrea Villar Andrea Villar Journalist and Industry Analyst