Contxto – Last week, Digital Bank Lima brought together 18 startups from Argentina, Chile and Peru to pitch their products to banks, big tech and investors.
Máximo, Peru’s contender for the digital payments industry, won the competition and praise from attendees. The company is an early-stage loyalty and payments startup helping retailers facilitate transactions and connect with customers.
With Máximo, they can observe data about their preferences and purchasing frequency, among other data.
In short, Máximo aims to solve five core problems. For instance, it’s focusing on improving financial inclusion, digitization and loyalty programs for small partnering businesses. For consumers, it wants to foster savings and ease by facilitating smartphone payments.
At the moment, the company is in development stages but plans to enter the market in at least four weeks with help from strategic allies. It is currently focusing on addressing payment inefficiencies withing SMEs through QR code technology and smartphone compatibility.
“The Digital Bank Latam has been a benchmark,” she said. “We wanted to participate because we knew that it is a super important platform… We left full of contacts.”
I reached out to Isabel Palao to learn more about the event. According to the founder, winning brought them a wide contact network as well as mentorship, not to mention the exposure they got from the award.
About the event
The event stressed the importance of startups and corporations collaborating and finding synergy. Along those lines, Juan Carlos García, CEO of BanBif, threw out some important key points to take into consideration.
For instance, working hand in hand, defining roles based on strengths and weaknesses, as well as coming together to solve an issue, are important factors for partners to consider.
Contrary to what many people (used to) think, startups are not banks’ enemies, either. The infrastructure these companies have built over time, both intangible and tangible, are trustworthy sources for many people.
However, the true players to be aware of are actually big tech companies. As Ramón Heredia, Digital Bank Latam CEO says, big tech are the ones who own the “oil of the 21st century: data and information.”
For this reason, Daniel Aguilar, VP of Sales Latam, believes that banks are actually “losing in terms of data.” According to him, banks need to be more involved in the tech ecosystem.
Similar to my thoughts regarding Wayra Chile’s Co-Investment Day, events such as Digital Bank Latam strengthen the ecosystem for both, founders and funders, by engaging in productive feedback loops, and providing networking and visibility to regional startups.