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
Online banking is deemed as established on the Costa Rican market. With the major banks shutting down their counter branches, most people use online banking services. The latest development in the online banking market is the devices used, shifting from stationary computers to using mobile apps on smartphones through token apps.
Obligations and requirements to provide online-banking services described above
Costa Rica does not have a legislation that specifically regulates FinTechs related to online-banking services. However, SUGEF regulation concerning general FinTechs in Costa Rica may be applied.
To these companies could also apply the provisions of both Law 8968 on the Protection of the Person against the Processing of Their Personal Data, and Law 7472 on the Promotion of Competition and Effective Consumer Defense.
Additional comments regarding the legal situation for online-banking services or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area
Market size for online-banking services and biggest companies in this business area
As in many other fields, technology has generated important changes for the national banking sector in recent years. These modifications have been developed around topics such as the implementation of transactional systems, automated services, and data integration.
In February 2005, it was estimated that between 65% and 75% of banking operations were carried out through electronic means (ATMs, internet or by telephone) which significantly reduces the waiting time in line. Furthermore, it is reported that users of electronic banking services of five (5) local banking institutions – including companies – reach the figure of 602,675, 12% of the population.
Currently, all banks operating in the country have a website on the Internet, through which they make a wide range of services available to the public. Also, electronic banking has been developing and gaining strength for a few years. This phenomenon has positively influenced the national market, which gains more users everyday thanks to the agility and availability of electronic services. This has improved the quality of life of Costa Ricans, who have gone through a natural process of adaptation with these tools.
Additional comments regarding the economic situation for online-banking services or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area