Global FinTech Guide
Country Name
Online banking services
FinTechs belonging to this area offer traditional banking services in a modern way, usually through online services or mobile applications as well as ancillary services – e.g. enabling customers to manage their giro- or custody-accounts online and in real time or offering e-wallet services. Keywords in this context are also API-Banking or Banking as a Service (BaaS)/ Bank as a Platform (BaaP).


API stands for application programming interface and is offered to access data banks and to extract and insert information. API-Banking consequently means the access to data banks of banks to offer new and innovative banking applications.

Through these services FinTechs offer services with new functions, e.g. enabling customers to manage their accounts online and in real time.

BaaS – Bank as a Service/BaaP – Bank as a Platform:
The API-based Bank as a Service platform has a full banking licence, but merely serves as the back end for standalone independent FinTechs, which “use” the licence and the back end of the bank to offer new financial services, launch additional financial products or expand into additional markets.


Attitude of the country towards online-banking services

The social and political climate towards online banking is very positive. Yet, online banking services in Colombia are still in early stages. Yet, in the latest years we have seen that some online banks, such as Nubank are in the process to obtain relevant banking licences to offer banking services in Colombia. 

Online banks do not have the traditional costs associated with traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. Thus, they tend to pass those savings on to customers in the form of lower fees, higher interest rates and intuitive digital banking products.

Legal affairs

Obligations and requirements to provide online-banking services described above

 FinTechs intending to offer online banking services must obtain an authorization from the Colombian State. Banking services (either, online or traditional services) can only be provided by authorised banks. The specific requirements to incorporate a bank in Colombia can be found in the Colombian Financial System Statute.

To provide online banking services, authorized banks must comply with the general quality standards and security requirements for data handling as stablished by the basic legal circular issued by the Finance Superintendence. Mainly, banks are required to:

    a. Have a two-factor authentication system.
    b. Have a data encryption system for transactions over two (2) monthly wages.
    c. Have a system that avoids duplicity of the operations due to communication issues.

Additional comments regarding the legal situation for online-banking services or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area

In Colombia, efforts have been made to democratise access to banking, eliminating a series of barriers to enter the financial system and making the requirements more flexible so that many more citizens can make use of such financial services. 

Economic conditions

Market size for online-banking services and biggest companies in this business area

In Colombia, enormous efforts have been made to digitalise banking, as it becomes easier for the State to control and monitor the flow of money in the financial sector, but we are still far from achieving a high percentage in this area, as most of the transactions in Colombia, are still being processes through traditional banking.

Additional comments regarding the economic situation for online-banking services or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area

It requires a large part in education and teaching the Colombian population as to how to use online-banking and ensuring security of the same.



© 2022, Parra Rodríguez Abogados S.A.S.. All rights reserved by Parra Rodríguez Abogados S.A.S. as author and the owner of the copyright in this chapter. Parra Rodríguez Abogados S.A.S. has granted to Multilaw non-exclusive worldwide license to use and include this chapter in this guide and to sublicense Lexis Nexis, a division of RELX Inc. and its affiliates certain rights to use and distribute this guide.

The information in this guide provides a general overview at the time of publication and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all legal developments nor should it be taken as opinion or legal advice on the matters covered. It is for general information purposes only and readers should take legal advice from a Multilaw member firm.


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