The financial technology sector, also known as fintech, is a growing industry that focuses on developing innovations to improve the delivery of financial services and their use by everyday consumers. It comprises segments such as digital payments, big data, investments, and alternative finance. In the Americas, the number of fintech startups was estimated at nearly 11 thousand as of February 2021, around 87 percent larger than the number of companies registered three years before. Within the continent, Latin America hosted more than 2,300 of these initiatives , mostly working in segments such as payment and remittances, and lending. In a region with high internet user penetration and many barriers to financial inclusion , new businesses have plenty of room to provide financial solutions to a big unbanked, yet online, population.

Major markets and players

The leading countries in Latin America by total number of fintech startups are some of the regions’ largest economies based on gross domestic product : Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina. Brazil and Mexico also concentrate most of the investments targeting fintech companies , with over 2.5 billion U.S. dollars gathered in 2020. In Brazil, the startups Nubank, RecargaPay, and Vórtx are considered some of the most successful fintechs , each receiving over 35 million dollars of funding in the first quarter of 2021. Whereas in Mexico, the companies Konfío, Credijusto, and Clip are among the startups that were able to raise the largest amount of funds during investment rounds, with no less than 100 million U.S. dollars received by each one as of February 2021.

Fintech adoption

fintech usage has been growing during the past decade in Latin America, and it is expected to surpass 380 million users by 2025. The need for easy-to-use, digitally accessible, and reliable financial solutions has perhaps never been more apparent as under the current global circumstances. Digital payments was estimated to be the fintech segment most widely used in the region , accounting for nearly nine out of 10 users in 2021. Although smaller in size, personal finance, neo-banking, and alternative lending are also present within Latin America’s fintech solutions, with Nubank as a clear successful example . This Brazilian company is the largest digital bank in Latin America, and one of the largest in the world.


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