"We will observe the growing digitalization of financial systems", particularly after the appearance of the so-called fintech, which has posed enormous "challenges to national institutions", in a context in which consumers want "simplification, speed, intuitive channels, but safety and customization "Said Ana Olívia Pinto Pereira, head of the Banco de Portugal, at the XXIII Ibero-American Forum on Mutual Guarantee Systems.
It is taking place in Porto and organized in partnership between the Portuguese Mutual Guarantee Society (SPGM) and REGAR (Ibero-American guarantee network), with the Jornal Econômico as media partner, the forum aims to discuss the challenges of the digital economy and its influence in the world of mutual guarantee.
Assuming that traditional banking is going through a kind of "existential crisis," Ana Pereira said that "we have today this double reality: traditional banking and fintech, which are divided between the collaborative and those that compete with the banks themselves."
"Improving the ability to monitor issues" related to the digital economy is, for the person in charge, the challenge that regulators face – where they are precisely the state – as legislator – and, more specifically, the banking system , the Bank of Portugal itself.
In this context, "we must know for the present, we are betting on the production of knowledge" to find answers – this being the role, he said, of the Bank of Portugal, which has evolved from a mere observer position to a more interventionist role, or pre-intervention. "Since 2017, the bank has in its business plan the need to follow up on this issue," said Ana Pereira.
Joao Machado Mota, of the FinTech Association and InsurTech of Portugal, drew attention to the ability of new technology-based companies to replace functions that are currently assigned to traditional banking. This certainty – because this is already certain – poses a challenge to the banking system, but its role will not disappear, he said. Except in what has to do with the domains where the Fintech assume a more satisfactory answer in terms of decentralized systems, compared to centralized ones.
"You have to think about these things," he warned. For now, there is an incremental dynamic (of association between traditional activity and new technologies) or, on the contrary, a dynamic of rupture, where the possible points of encounter between the two disappear.
Giuseppe Gramigna, chief economist of the US Small Business Administration, who precisely thought 'in these things' and is in a market some levels above the European, the American, the debate is already in another plane: "Instead of the traction institutions are thinking if they absorb or not knowledge of fintech, are already thinking about when they will absorb this knowledge and which ".
For the person in charge, the guarantee system has the obligation to ask itself what the position of the system will be in the face of these profound changes. But he did not give the answer or a clue to her: after all, the time is to absorb information so that the decision is the right one.