Prometeo promises to expand open banking API products to Brazil and Panama
May 08, 2020
BY MARIANA LÓPEZ
Contxto – Prometeo is bringing its open banking APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to more fintechs in the region. The startup recently announced it expanded its services into two countries: Brazil and Panama.
According to Prometeo’s website, it had already been operating in seven other markets in Latin America: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and its native Uruguay.
Likewise, its APIs have already connected to various major financial institutions, most of which are located in Uruguay and Mexico. And the startup does plenty of name-dropping on its home page. However, it wasn’t so open as to the identity of the Brazilian bank with which it’s been dealing with. It’s only labeled as “private beta.”
Prometeo had raised an undisclosed investment late last year. At the time it announced it would use the funds to regionally scale. And given these developments, it looks like things are going according to plan.
Open banking recap
As fintechs emerge and begin to offer products like loans, savings accounts, payment systems, and so on, it’s becoming clear that open banking solutions are gaining ground in Latin America.
FYI, “open banking” consists of fintechs having access to users’ information from a bank’s database, with the person’s consent of course. And it’s been gathering momentum across the globe.
Moreover, open banking isn’t just a way for traditional financial institutions to give leeway to more healthy competition with fintechs. It also helps users:
However, at the moment, Mexico is the only country in Latam to have a regulatory framework that specifically addresses open banking.
Through its fintech law, banks in that country have been strong-armed into offering data connectivity through APIs. Correspondingly, this helps explain why after its home country of Uruguay, Prometeo has found plenty of opportunities in Mexico.
In Chile, it will be worth observing what becomes of its proposed fintech law, which is currently being drafted. If it’s approved and provides the flexibility fintechs call for, this Latam country may rival Mexico in attracting more startups and investors.