CaixaBank Chair Advocates Consumer-Centric Tech, Consistent FI Regs


The chairman of Spanish global financial services company CaixaBank told an audience that changing customer habits are one of the most complex issues facing banks over the next few years.

In an address to the Fintech and Metaverse session at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, José Ignacio Goirigolzarri said an infusion of technology will be required to guarantee the best services for customers.

He highlighted the entry of FinTechs that are driving competition, while he advocated for consistent regulation for all financial institutions (FIs).

In the speech, Goirigolzarri discussed the role of ethics in the digitization transformation. He said organizations that collect and generate data must follow strict ethical principles, putting customers at the center of their data control processes. FIs must ensure criteria are applied to prevent discriminatory biases in the design and implementation of algorithms, he said.

“The application of technology also has its limits, related to issues of security, respect for privacy and individual freedom,” he said. “Technology should not be an end in itself. It’s a means to improve our society.”

Goirigolzarri defended the role of technology to build a sustainable and responsible future. He also posed questions about the digital transformation in the financial sector, including the impact on service distribution channels, the entrance of competitors and the importance of digital ethics.

He reminded the audience that while many prefer an exclusively digital relationship with banks, others, generally older customers, still want that face-to-face relationship with the bank.

“It’s our duty to provide all of them with an excellent and differentiated response,” he said.

Last month, Account Opening and Loan Servicing In The Digital Environment, a study by PYMNTS and Finicity, a Mastercard company, revealed consumers are slightly more comfortable opening accounts using a mobile app than on a web browser.

See more: Almost Two-Thirds of Consumers Comfortable Opening Loan Account in App

About 64% of consumers said they were “very” or “extremely” comfortable opening an account via mobile app, compared to 63% who were comfortable opening an account via web browser.