Proxfin members gather in Montreal to discuss digital finance

October 29, 2018

On October 25-26, DID brought together in Montreal its partners from the Proxfin international network to discuss strategies for putting digital finance at the service of a better access to financial services. Thirty CEOs and chairpersons of DID partner financial institutions shared their respective vision, concerns and successes in digital finance, a sector that is evolving at high speed and shaking the ways of doing business in the financial industry.  

The seminar opened with a conference by Guy Cormier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group. Mr. Cormier's presentation focused on Desjardins’ strategic vision regarding digital finance: How is Desjardins' digital evolution oriented? How does this evolution serve the Group’s main strategic ambitions? These and several other questions were the subject of Mr. Cormier's presentation and the lively discussion that followed.

During the afternoon, a roundtable allowed three Proxfin representatives to share the progress, challenges and success factors associated with their institution’s digital evolution. Participants at this roundtable were Radhi Meddeb, Chairman of the Entrepreneur Fnancial Centre in Tunisia, Sylvia Paraguya, President and CEO of NATCCO in the Philippines, and Victorin Houedanou, Director General of the FECECAM in Benin.

The day ended with the presentation of two innovative solutions adopted by Latin American cooperative financial networks:

  • From Paraguay, Pedro Löblein, Chairman of CENCOPAN, presented the SOCIO Móvil mobile payment system launched by his institution.
  • From Colombia, Santiago Gallego, Managing Director of Visionamos, presented the Co-operative payment system for cooperatives affiliated with the Coopcentral Cooperative Bank. 

On the second day of the seminar, Pierre Lemay, Vice-President Technologies, Banking Services at Desjardins Group, came to present Desjardins' position in relation to the new technologies that today are shaking the financial landscape. How does Desjardins benefit from these innovations? What are the future solutions explored by the organization? On which criteria does it base its decisions? These are some of the elements that were discussed.

Alexandre Lamige and Alain Beauregard, respectively Technology Director and Technology Advisor at DID, then presented Proxfin members with the target architecture of a microfinance institution. Their presentation outlined that though this architecture is designed to meet many requirements and support several functions, it should primarily focus on answering members and clients’ needs. 

In the afternoon, Patrice Dagenais, Vice President, Payment solutions at Desjardins Group, presented Desjardins’ vision and experience regarding payment solutions. In particular, he explained how these solutions help Desjardins better meet the needs of its members, and outlined the next development avenues envisaged.

To conclude the seminar, Denis Berthiaume, Senior Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins Group, addressed the challenges associated with the execution of a digital transformation. How does Desjardins coordinate major technological changes? How can we make things happen? What are the pitfalls to avoid and the key factors of success? Concrete and firmly rooted in the operational reality, Mr. Berthiaume's remarks gave rise to fruitful exchanges with the participants around the topic discussed.

During these two days of meetings, Proxfin members had the opportunity to greatly enrich their thinking and strategies in connection with digital finance, so that they could continue and increase their contribution to financial inclusion and their support to the development of their respective communities.