• Sun. Oct 24th, 2021

650 million users and e-commerce at 84 billion dollars: fintech takes off in Latin America


May 5, 2021

The IMF estimates Latin America growth of 4.6% in 2021, a figure that follows the 7% drop recorded in 2020. A market of over 650 million inhabitants, with a rapidly growing middle class and digitalization that , partly as a result of the pandemic, it is quickly closing the infrastructure gap that afflicted it, also determining a strong acceleration of the entire fintech sector. e-commerce: online shopping in Latin America shows an increase, mainly due to forced closures, which, between March and April 2020, was 387%, and which expects to reach 83.6 billion dollars by the end of 2021 This was influenced by the growth of online shoppers: this year 10.8 million new consumers will make their first purchase on the web. At the same time, there has been a greater penetration of mobile telephony: all the countries in the area are investing in this direction and according to the Ericsson Mobile Report 2020, by the end of 2026, 5G should constitute 26% of mobile subscriptions in countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Mexico. New digital banks are born that allow fast and low-cost banking services, transactions and investments: the Brazilian Nubank is currently the largest fintech company in Latin America. Also for this rapid and consistent development, institutions and politics have begun to discuss and propose rules to regulate the development and use of digital payments: the Central Bank of Brazil has introduced the PIX, the country’s first instant payment system . While in Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Peru new regulations aim to encourage open banking and promote the Latin American fintech department, the development of technological infrastructures is attracting private and institutional investors from all over the world, favoring the economic growth of the area. Thousands of high potential fintech startups are born, making it one of the most active and attractive markets in the world. All this also determines a growth in employment, especially in the gig economy, the economic model in which continuous work performance no longer exists.This virtuous circle has led several analysts to argue that 2021 will be a decisive year for the growth of Latin America. However, there are still unknowns that could slow down or hamper the growth process. First of all, the volatility of foreign exchange which constitutes a constant risk for commercial practices, combined with the complexity of different laws between countries which represent an obstacle when it comes to assessing compliance in terms of taxation, concessions or other legal regulations.