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Latin America Fintech Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

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  • 120 Pages
  • October 2021
  • Region: Latin America
  • Mordor Intelligence
  • ID: 5458916

Latin America has always faced economic and political challenges. Rapid expansion was hampered by a large hilly area and many natural calamities. Neoliberal policies enhanced the economic climate in the region, resulting in a surge in international investment. The situation improved in the last ten years with the introduction of mobile communications, which created a fertile ground for the region's financial and technical development. The banking system in Latin America is heavily regulated, with hefty transaction fees and lengthy account opening procedures. With five institutions controlling 90% of total assets, market competitors are not required to improve their services, introduce new products, or compete for clients. This demonstrates the region's market potential for Fintech projects.

The epidemic has had a significant influence on global financial services. However, in Latin America, the COVID -19 crisis has been a major engine for fintech, pushing innovation out of necessity. Instead of visiting physical bank branches, many consumers checked out innovative financial products and apps. Many businesses that used to rely on foot traffic have begun to provide online shopping, accept credit card payments, and integrate with digital platforms. COVID - 19 has boosted demand for digital financial products and fintech in Latin America.

Fintech activity is expanding in the region, spurred by rising demand for online banking solutions, favourable demographics, and a substantial underserved population. From USD 44 million in 2013, FinTech funding has increased to USD 2.1 billion in 2019. In the first half of 2020, Latin American Fintech raised approximately USD 525 million. Around 1166 FinTech start-ups were identified in the 18 countries of the Latin America region in the year 2018. There was an increase of 66% from the last year when the number was only 703.

According to the investment bank Goldman Sachs, the sector of payments, loans, personal finance, and insurance have the greatest potential. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, another major investment bank, invested in Brazilian Fintech startups to secure higher profit margins. In the middle of 2020, North and South Americas accounted for the largest share of total Fintech investments (USD 12.9 billion) while the Asia Pacific region and the EMEA accounted for USD 8.1 billion and USD 4.6 billion accordingly.

At last count, at least 1,166 fintech initiatives were operating, spread across 18 countries. In 2019 alone, VC investment in FinTech startups in Latin America totalled USD 2.1 billion. That number represented a growth of 690% over the past five years.

Key Market Trends

Brazil and Mexico, are Dominating the Market

Brazil, by far Latin America's most populous country, has a close to 70% internet penetration rate, compared to around 87% in Western Europe and the United States. With over 750 companies, Brazil is the largest fintech market. With 440 companies operating, Mexico has the second largest and most established financial ecosystem in Latin America.

The introduction of the regulatory sandbox, open banking regulations, and the launch of Pix, Brazil's rapid payment system, have all contributed to the growth of the indigenous fintech sector. A breakdown of fintech investment in the region reveals that investors are particularly optimistic about the prospects of the Brazilian industry, with statistics from Colombian platform Latin America Fintech Hub revealing that Brazilian companies received more than 66% of fintech funding in 2020.

According to Bruno Diniz, managing partner of fintech-focused consultancy Spiralem and one of Brazil's most important fintech specialists, more innovation and developments are predicted in the future, particularly in the fields of insurtech and open banking. Several significant, established Brazilian fintech companies are expected to go public in 2021.

With the enactment of the Fintech Law in 2018, Mexico became the first Latin American country to establish a dedicated fintech legal framework. The legislation governs two categories of fintech: crowdfunding institutions and electronic money and payment institutions, as well as for cryptocurrencies, open banking, and a regulatory sandbox.

According to data from the National Banking and Securities Commission, 93 fintech companies were in the process of gaining a Financial Technology Institution (FTI) license as of early 2021, indicating substantial interest from the startup community.

Mexico, like Brazil and other emerging economies, has a significant young and tech-savvy population that is underserved by traditional banking and financial services and willing to adopt new, digital-first financial products and services. The favourable regulatory environment and good demographics have created a great basis for fintech startups to prosper.

Massive Technological Adaption is Boosting the Market

Latin America is home to a population of roughly 450 million mobile phone users, which is expected to reach 484 million by 2025. Of these 450 million users, nearly 80% access the internet via their phone – a proportion that is forecasted to reach 87% by 2025. Better telecommunication infrastructures and increasing internet access will be responsible for driving step-function growth across the entire region for fintech. These massive technological shifts have been a boon for fintech startups to build fully digital products and services and pass cost savings through to customers.

Banking regulators and central banks in the region are bending over backwards to embrace new financial technologies. Internet availability has increased upward mobility and increased access to international high-level degree programs. Both factors have created a rising, highly educated middle class that has become the founders of many of the regional FinTech startups.

An increase in the number of mobile phone users also means that there will be an increase in mobile payment options too. For an instance, QR code payments are slowly gaining popularity in the Latin American region. The scenario of rising e-invoicing is interesting because despite Latin America being behind in the digital payment rates, it is emerging as a global leader in e-invoicing. This signifies that the region is experiencing a FinTech boom, and it will cause a trickle-down effect that will encourage people to adopt digital payments fully.

Brazil contributes around 42% when it comes to Latin America’s B2C retail transactions. Furthermore, the retail scene is expected to grow by around 39%. Mobile wallets enable users to make automated purchases. Digital payments are on the verge of a boom in the Latin American region due to the rise of neo-banks, e-wallets, e-invoicing, etc. The increased demand for digital payments from both consumers and businesses is boosting the growth and adoption of digital payment solutions.

Competitive Landscape

Central banks in Latin America have done everything they can to push businesses and consumers away from cash and toward digital payment solutions, frequently leading them directly into the clutches of FinTech companies. Some of the major players in the market are Nubank, Uala, Ebanx, RecargaPay, Clip, Bitso, Konfio, Wilobank, Addi, Vortx and others.

Additional Benefits:

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Table of Contents

1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition
1.2 Scope of the Study
4.1 Market Overview
4.2 A Brief on Internet and Smartphone Penetration in the Region
4.3 Insights on Key Regulations and Industry Policies Impacting Fintech Market in the Region
4.4 Market Drivers
4.5 Market Restraints
4.6 Revenue and Funding Statistics
4.7 Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.7.1 Threat of New Entrants
4.7.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers
4.7.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.7.4 Threat of Substitute Products
4.7.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
4.8 Imapct of Covid-19 on the Market
5.1 By Service Proposition
5.1.1 Money Transfer and Payments
5.1.2 Savings and Investments
5.1.3 Digital Lending & Lending Marketplaces
5.1.4 Online Insurance & Insurance Marketplaces
5.1.5 Others
5.2 By Country
5.2.1 Brazil
5.2.2 Mexico
5.2.3 Argentina
5.2.4 Rest of Latin America
6.1 Overview (Market Concentration and Major Players)
6.2 Company Profiles
6.2.1 Nubank
6.2.2 Uala
6.2.3 Ebanx
6.2.4 RecargaPay
6.2.5 Clip
6.2.6 Bitso
6.2.7 Konfio
6.2.8 Wilobank
6.2.9 Addi
6.2.10 Vortx*

Companies Mentioned

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:

  • Nubank
  • Uala
  • Ebanx
  • RecargaPay
  • Clip
  • Bitso
  • Konfio
  • Wilobank
  • Addi
  • Vortx