COLOMBIA - Finance
COO Latam, Cobis Topaz
Marcial del Pozo has over 25 years of experience in the banking software industry. He studied systems engineering at the National Polytechnic School of Ecuador and obtained his master’s in business administration from the Tecnológico de Monterrey.
Jorge Iglesias Topaz is a 30-year-old company from Uruguay. We have grown significantly since 2016, from 30 Uruguayans working in the company and 47 clients to 1,600 collaborators and 270 clients in 25 countries today. This evolution was possible because of the execution of organic as well inorganic growth strategies, enabling us to enter other markets. From Uruguay, we entered Brazil and Argentina. We invested in more products and changed the culture of the company. We prefer to have our clients think of us as partners. We also made several acquisitions, starting with three companies in Brazil that helped us grow extensively.
Marcial del Pozo Cobiscorp has made great progress in developing the Spanish-speaking Latin American market of financial institutions, since it has consolidated a presence in practically all the Spanish-speaking countries in the region. Its portfolio includes important clients from different countries; however, like any other corporation, it sought to grow, and we saw a new opportunity and moment of growth in which it was important to strengthen the company’s capabilities. With that leadership position in the region, Cobiscorp joined Topaz Group, which held a strong position in Brazil and other Spanish-speaking countries in Latam. Cobiscorp was in 16 countries in Spanish-speaking Latin America and had a portfolio of more than 75 clients, namely financial institutions. Now, by merging with Topaz Group, our client portfolio has since grown to 270 clients across 25 countries in the Americas, including Brazil. Another important aspect is that the capabilities that we offer the market have also grown. We were previously focused on core banking platforms, which is the central platform that a bank requires to operate. The acquisition by Topaz Group has expanded our portfolio of solutions, with the aim of being an ally and strategic partner of any financial institution, because we are now able to support the entire end-to-end process of their business with our solutions with a complete banking platform.
MDP Ecuador has made noteworthy progress in the digitalization of the financial sector, though in comparison to countries such as Brazil, it still lags further behind. Topaz Group’s experience in Brazil is our other differentiator, since practices, regulatory changes, and digitalization trends that occurred in Brazil are now coming to the entire region. For example, Brazil implemented an instant payment platform from Topaz called Pix in 2019-2020, and now the entire Brazilian financial system can make payments from their cellphones instantly at no cost. We are currently in talks with the central banks in Ecuador, Colombia, and Panama about instant payments and payment methods. Almost every country’s agenda includes implementing instant payment schemes. Given our experience in Brazil and our technology, we are ready to support this wave of digital transformation of the financial system in Latam.
JI The world is all about trends. The digitalization trend that has already succeeded in Brazil is now coming to Latin America. The pandemic has shown that digitalization is imminent and no longer optional. It is the way to transform society. We all act, relate, and work differently now. There are many interesting digitization initiatives for financial inclusion. In the future, the finance world will no longer have borders, with innovations such as digital currencies and the ability to conduct transactions between different ecosystems where differences in currencies will not pose a hinderance.
MDP I am optimistic that this will happen, as there is a combination of factors that will smooth the path. There has to be a supportive legal framework as well as an alignment of the entire ecosystem of the financial sector for that to occur; however, Ecuador is already moving in that direction and is acquiring technologies and adopting practices that are already being used in other countries.