In this Q&A, we talk to Alejandro López, the co-founder and Sales Director for Mexico at Vozy, a voice AI platform that helps companies transform the way they interact with customers, about the current state of innovation in financial services and what to expect in the near future.

  1. What are some of the biggest trends currently taking over the fintech industry in Mexico? 

In Mexico, we are experiencing not only a boom in registered fintechs with more than 400 startups in the ecosystem but also the capital investments have exceeded almost $10B in this last year during the pandemic. Precisely, the trend that we are seeing is that the efforts to capture this large unbanked client base will continue to be the norm, but more importantly, we will also see solutions that facilitate onboarding processes with users in terms of not using intermediaries and trying to ease tight regulatory processes. Therefore, the tools that contribute to a more complete digital ecosystem will have an advantage over the incumbents. 

  1. What are the main challenges and opportunities for introducing innovation in the financial industry in the region?

The challenges are clearly huge, but the opportunities are more. In this case, we see that the main barrier continues to be the strong regulation in Latin American financial systems. We see the traditional system always one step behind what financial innovation implies. For this reason, all these fintechs that we’re seeing emerge every day; what they want is to hack the system so that a larger part of the population is served by solutions that generate a better quality of life and therefore more progress. Trends such as banking those who are outside the system, providing financial education and facilitating access to technology to make their lives easier are what users need.

  1. How is Vozy helping companies in this industry?

Vozy can help the financial system make an impact on different fronts. Not only does it impact the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry, which is experiencing a huge exodus of human agents due to such exhausting processes, but it also helps streamline and scale repetitive tasks that do not require humans– or rather processes in which humans do not generate so much value. In this specific case, we are talking about debt collections, where a virtual assistant solution can reach millions of users simultaneously and with better metrics. However, it is not about replacing humans but placing them where it generates more value. With a virtual assistant, we support the onboarding processes to help agents be more effective and potential clients to live an experience more in line with their needs.

  1. How has COVID-19 pushed the adoption of AI and voice technologies?

All of us have had bad experiences on customer service lines. What the pandemic did was it exacerbated this bad experience. Traditional companies did not know how to balance the dynamics with human agents, therefore customers were not served. If there was any communication at all, these customers had to wait in infinite queues which also created friction in that conversation. Then – something else that came with the pandemic – humans were thrown into processes that did not involve physical contact. That’s where voice-based conversational artificial intelligence found its moment to shine since it was able to help take the load off human agents on the BPOs and, clients were able to seamlessly interact and receive support –in this case from “the bot”– and solve their inquiries. Also, the fact that it was a remote and digital process made companies accelerate the adoption of these enablers. For example, we all know that obsolete processes such as fingerprints are still used to detect financial fraud today. In this case, voice biometrics processes such as the voiceprint with artificial intelligence provide a more accurate authentication and no physical interaction is needed for it to work correctly.

  1. What does the future of financial services look like in terms of innovation?

The future of the financial system from my perspective will become increasingly decentralized. By this, I mean that it will depend less on the big entities, and therefore the consumer will not only have more possibilities of having more and more options but will also be able to find better alternatives that improve their quality of life. A clear example of this is cryptocurrencies and their technology like blockchain, which is a mechanism that not only serves as a basis to amplify the adoption of new payment systems but is also becoming a safe-haven space for assets in the face of volatility that traditional assets represent. All technologies with the capacity to add more value to the digital banking experiences will make competition for better services and experiences the norm. And that’s where conversational artificial intelligence plays a huge role in helping financial institutions to exceed expectations and create better services.

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