Banca15 / Section: Enterview/ November 2017
Photo: Javier Natividad. Commercial Director of Víntegris
Interview with Javier Natividad in Banca15
The technology allows any management to be done without going to an office, but all procedures need security, an issue in which Víntegris is helping banks, by providing the technology for digital certification. The commercial director, Javier Natividad, considers in this interview that Spanish banking is ready to comply with the European regulation of identification and electronic signature (eIDAS).
¿What is your company’s current relationship with the financial sector?
We have been in the information technology sector for 14 years, focused on security. We started integrating third-party technologies, but there came the point that customers asked us to cover new needs, and we began to develop small pieces, precisely for a large banking client, and from there, we formatted it, packaged (sic) and marketed it for all users. 80% of our clients are in the banking and insurance environment. We have great industry leaders; where we were the first to do what we do in the centralisation of certificates, and this makes large banks, such as the entity that I have mentioned, trust us.
¿ With how many banks does Víntegris work in Spain?
Of the six from Ibex 35, four are our clients.
Of the two remaining we have been in negotiations for months with one and the other just plain resists us. We have excellent references in the sector, where we were the first to do what we do in centralisation of certificates, and this makes large banks trust us. It is almost word of mouth. On the contrary, the sixth bank, even being from the Catalan region, like us, resists us and I find complicated for them to become a Víntegris customer. It is a historical organisation with which we have been trying to work for years, but until now it has not been possible.
¿What path will authentication take?
In Europe, in recent years, there has been a great concern for the security of electronic signature and digital certificates to guarantee the identity of users. The use of these certificates has been dramatically extended, from a freelancer who wants to collect electronic notifications from the public administration to a large bank that also needs the certificate for their transactions, for example.
The European market has been aware that it must put in place means to enable the exchange of information or services in a secure manner, guaranteeing the identity of the user in a safe way. For this purpose, in 2014 it approved the eIDAS regulation, which indicates how transactions must be carried out in order to securely identify the parties involved and guarantee the electronic signature, and this is something that extends to all sectors.
¿How are you working with banks concerning eIDAS?
This regulation comes into force in 2018, and we are working to help them cover it. Banking is one of the sectors most affected by regulatory issues, and regarding eIDAS, they are prepared to comply with it, but there are many services around the electronic signature and the regulation, and we are helping them to be compatible with all of it.
¿Where do the complexities of this regulation reside?
There are technological and regulatory complexities. This regulation establishes a series of technical standards that the technologies must meet to be compatible with this document, there being a series of legal measures that entities must meet to ensure that the services they provide comply with eIDAS.
¿On issues of electronic signature, what do banks have to improve?
It is a highly regulated sector regarding signing and identification; other sectors are not so aware of this, they should improve more. Banks concerning security, since their business is based on trust, are conveniently covered.
¿ Will the banking business affect the adaptation to the eIDAS regulation?
It will affect, above all, the facility to offer services, at the time to market, because in the end what is going to guarantee is that when opening an account, making a transfer, and so forth, the bank must have the same legal guarantees as a handwritten signature. Banking processes are not simple and in adapting these processes, opening their business to new technologies will be the main challenge because the technology is ready to adapt to customers’ businesses.
“The Spanish Banking is already prepared to comply with the European regulation eIDAS.”
¿How does the nebula solution benefit banks?
We provide the guarantee that the user who is on the other side operating is whom they say they are, for which we give them technology so that they can guarantee this. We have made internal changes, both at the level of technology and company strategy, in the last three years to comply with eIDAS. We first have been homologated as a trusted service provider by the Ministry of Industry, and since July of last year we are a qualified certification entity and can issue digital certificates for both external and bank users.
¿How long does it take to issue a certificate?
A few seconds. One of the advantages of our systems is that you do not have to go to a registry office because with our systems companies can be the registration authority themselves. Eliminating a very tedious process such as the verification point, where someone has to verify that you are whom you say you are (providing the DNI).
In the case of customers of financial institutions, this document will serve clients while they are a user for a multitude of transactions with banks.
We not only issue digital certificates, the main nuance being that the digital certificate is not delivered to the final customer but stored in a centralised system of digital certificates, so that it is securely guarded in the customer’s systems, so that at the level of renewal, revocation, a delegation of use thereof, is done in a centralised manner. Moreover, the biggest problem with the digital certificate is that organisations do not control them. When someone gives a bank employee a digital certificate, they can lose control of it, ¿what has been done with it? , ¿Where they are signed? , ¿How many copies are distributed?
¿How much do your services cost?
A system for 1000 users has a cost of € 30,000 per year.
¿How do you see the competition?
It is strong. Since the European regulation was published, there have been companies that have been approved as trusted service providers. Fortunately, there is a regulation that says who can play in this market: certified service providers, which reduces competition in Spain (half a dozen manufacturers), but is larger in Europe, because manufacturers can come to Spain.
¿What difference does it have compared to competitors that are not from Spain?
The all-in-one solution. We have been 7 years, and we were pioneers in loyalty certificates and 12 years with electronic signature and authentication mechanism, precisely with banks, and we put these technologies together in a suite.
¿ Are your prices similar to the competitors?
We are at a similar level, yes. The difference comes because we are the only ones that are giving all the solutions in an integrated package and also, unlike other competitors, it is not a closed architecture, you can use your systems.
¿In the market in which you move is there unfair competition?
There can be much unfair competition in this market. As for Víntegris, we have invested more than one million euros for internal changes at the level of certifications. Among them, the approval of the certificate centralisation software with eIDAS, and three years to be homologated, these are the standards to which we compare to others who say they do the same as us and sell a technological product that has to meet technical standards. Yes, there is unfair competition, even customers tell us how there are companies that come to them saying that this or that requirement is not necessary to comply, something that is not true.
¿How do you see the Víntegris options in the Latin American market?
We have attended international events for two years to see how the sector moves. Our natural market is European because there is a regulation that covers our business, while Asia and the United States are sweet markets but we will not focus on them because they are not covered by the regulation. In Latin America, which has pleasantly surprised us, there are many similarities with Spain concerning electronic signature and identification, and we have already made our first integrators in Mexico and Chile, and we have started the training in these two countries to create our partner network.
¿Is it the presence of Spanish banks facilitating the work in Latin America?
Yes, it facilitates, and it does not. Last year we started a project in Chile, although the decision was taken regionally, due to the structure of a large multinational and not having come from the headquarters in Spain, it was cut directly. So, I will tell you that our experience is that the presence of entities in the region has not helped us.
Banca 15. Noviembre 2017