Digital assets: the new financial frontier

Traditional banks can bridge the gap between digital and traditional assets, using their trust and resources. MoraBanc’s Head of Digital Banking, Daniel Martínez, and Head of Digital Assets, Carlos Salinas, discuss


Change is an omnipresent variable in all areas of life in today’s society and is evident in the business world. The doors that the digital universe opened a few years ago have remained open and the transformation is permanent with new technologies helping to revolutionise companies and clients. With this environment at MoraBanc, being adaptable to change is now integral to the DNA of the company and those of us who are part of it. Our focus today is on daily business and our sights are set on what is to come in order to take advantage of the opportunities offered by a future that appears to have arrived early.

MoraBanc, Andorra and the world in general find themselves facing a new moment of disruption with the arrival of blockchain technology and artificial intelligence affecting many different sectors, including the financial services. These new technologies create opportunities and require significant adaptation to take advantage of them. It is essential now more than ever to work with a dual vision, the short-term vision to provide service today, and the long-term vision to evolve and move forward to meet the needs of our clients.

In the rapidly evolving world of digital assets, which encompasses cryptocurrencies, tokens and decentralised platforms, traditional banks are not mere spectators.

They are, in fact, central players with a unique and indispensable role in this financial revolution. Traditional banks have centuries of experience under their belts, having built trust with millions of customers worldwide. As the allure of digital assets grows, many consumers and investors naturally turn to their trusted banks for guidance and assurance. This trust factor is something that new entrants in the digital asset space might find challenging to replicate.

Moreover, banks are uniquely poised to offer solutions that seamlessly bridge the gap between digital and traditional assets. Imagine digital wallets directly linked to regular bank accounts, or the ability to effortlessly convert between fiat and cryptocurrencies. These integrated services can provide customers with a holistic financial experience.

Deep-rooted experience
Regulation is another arena where traditional banks shine. The digital asset landscape is fraught with regulatory challenges, and start-ups often struggle in navigating this complex terrain. Banks, with their deep-rooted experience in compliance and established rapport with regulators, can lead the charge in shaping a regulatory framework that ensures the safety and legitimacy of digital asset transactions.

The vast infrastructure of traditional banks, from their global transaction networks to extensive customer service operations, can be harnessed to offer robust digital asset services. Whether this means facilitating large-scale crypto transactions, ensuring top-notch security for digital asset storage or crafting educational resources for the uninitiated, banks have the resources and expertise to deliver these services at scale.

Innovation in the financial sector is often seen as the domain of nimble start-ups. However, traditional banks, with their resources and reach, can collaborate with innovative platforms to create hybrid models. These collaborations can yield products and services that meld the innovation of the new age with the reliability and expertise of traditional banking.

Lastly, with their significant capital reserves, banks can propel the growth of the digital asset ecosystem. Whether this occurs by investing in promising ventures or offering lending services with digital assets as collateral, banks can further weave these assets into the fabric of the broader financial system.

The digital asset revolution is as much about the convergence of the old and the new as it is about technological innovation. Traditional banks, with their vast resources and trust, stand at the crossroads of this new frontier. By embracing the potential of digital assets, they can ensure their continued relevance and leadership in the ever-evolving financial world.

The road map for MoraBanc Digital
Similarly to our vision for the future of banking with digital assets, we are also focused on the permanent updating of the digital banking service, where MoraBanc is a benchmark in Andorra. Since 2016 we have included digitalisation as a key element of our positioning in our DNA, making a firm commitment in recent years. Focused on the client, the principal purpose is to provide a service 24 hours a day, every day of the year, in order to facilitate the banking operations of our clients and customers.

Banks are uniquely poised to offer solutions that seamlessly bridge the gap between digital and traditional assets

In 2023, we increased this commitment in order to be more agile and efficient as an institution, but above all to be able to provide clients with more autonomy in the most common operations and queries. This is the great challenge we have set ourselves and the efforts we are making as a team are one of the arguments for receiving two World Finance awards, one for the Best Mobile Banking App in Andorra and another for Best Consumer Digital Bank in Andorra.

Over the last few months we have renewed digital banking with a new app-first digital experience, since 70 percent of digital access is via mobile device, by offering: the Bizum service for instant payment between individuals, widely used in Spain, the ability to become a client 100 percent digitally, and developing new functionalities for contracting new products such as cards and loans, as well as the generation of bank certificates. All of these new digital features are aimed at enabling branch staff to focus on providing more value-added advice and services to clients.

Associated with bank digitisation, the GarminPay service was also introduced. This service offers the possibility to make payments through a watch to MoraBanc cardholders using the wallet integrated in Garmin sports watches. We are the first bank to allow this operation in a country where, for now, the most common payment systems such as Google or Apple are not available for Andorran cards. We have been able to find an alternative for our clients by combining imagination and innovation in Andorra.

More agility
The roadmap for the coming months also includes two major initiatives from our 2022–24 strategic plan that will transform us as an institution and make us better prepared for the challenges of the future. We are currently working on a plan to transform and simplify various internal processes that have a direct impact on the procedures carried out by clients, making them simpler and therefore more agile.

Moreover, as mentioned above, the incorporation of digital assets into the client’s digital channel will make the new investment offer in this new asset class more accessible and will revolutionise the way in which people and companies exchange value in the very near future.

This is part of our approach to digitalisation, always with clients and users at the centre of everything, and it is our task to respond to their needs with real, practical and agile solutions in the present, while at the same time working to get ahead of the doors that technology opens to the future.