Many fintech companies in Latin America argue that they want to financially include people who do not have any financial product of this kind. In fact, in the region, the use of cash remains at the top: according to PYMNTS Global Index, 85% of retail spending in LatAm was made with cash.
However, the recent pandemic led to more users having contact with their first digital transfers. This was due to the increased use of smartphones in e-commerce purchases, according to The LatAm Tech Report 2022 of the Brazilian fund Latitud, a study released this week.
This fact also led people to adopt more online services, “accelerating the growth of digital banking in general,” the report states. In addition, it says that customer service inherited from traditional banks “offers poor quality and leads to customer dissatisfaction due to long response times, high rejection rates, bureaucratic processes, among other problems.”
On the other hand, the report points out that the lack of trust in the financial system and governments and the constant depreciation of local currencies in the region has led to using cryptocurrencies but not to their regulation. It shows that Argentina is the country with the highest adoption of these digital currencies, with 21% of total users, followed by Colombia (15%), Chile (14%), Peru (13%), Brazil (13%), and Mexico (9%).
Trends in B2C fintech
Gabriel Vasquez, an Andreessen Horowitz partner dedicated to fintech investments in LatAm, states in the report that “the first wave of B2C fintech, such as neobanks and BNPLs (buy now-pay later), discovered that there was no infrastructure available at the time they emerged, such as new payment processes.” This meant that they had to build this infrastructure in-house.
Now would come a “second wave of innovation, where companies are building on existing infrastructure and going to the market faster and cheaper. The infrastructure will allow these B2C fintech teams to focus more on their product rather than building their business from scratch.”
The LatAm Tech Report 2022 shows that the trends to watch in B2C fintech by segment are as follows:
Ability to easily compare financial products and services, focusing on different demographics and providing specialized offers.
Limited regulations for this segment, as well as lack of legacy infrastructure, pricing, customer demographics and ancillary product offerings.
Payments and remittances
This is a category that is blending with the other segments and will continue at that stage.
Investments and wealthtech
Increased demand for alternative assets and investing as a social experience.
Personal finance and education
Increased offerings by major digital banks and lending apps, plus open banking as a way to unlock new products and opportunities.
Increased supply offered by digital banks. However, insurtechs are not offering financial products to their customers.
Main image: Unsplash.
You may also be interested in: Latin America’s Fintech Landscape at Startup Latam Fest