11 February, 2019
Empty queue for Mexico Fintech Law registrations

Five months in, no companies have requested approval to operate under Mexico’s Fintech Law

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By Katie Llanos-Small

 

Mexico’s banking regulator is still waiting for the first fintech to apply for registration under the country’s new Law, iupana has learned.

Mexico’s 2018 Fintech Law created a legal category for fintech startups, a move that many observers said would boost foreign investment in the sector by defining their legal status. The Fintech Law requires companies that offer financing, investment and payment services online to register as Financial Technology Institutions.

Yet to date, Mexico’s National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) has not received any formal applications from fintechs, a spokesperson told iupana.

“Currently, no companies have formally applied for authorization. There are two companies that are close to presenting their applications, and the CNBV has resolved doubts, advised and made observations regarding their application processes, at their request.”

Still, the CNBV says it is keeping in close contact with the industry.

“During 2018 and 2019 to date, the Commission has had around 90 conversations and meetings with companies that want to become Financial Technology Institutions (ITFs) or that have uncertainties regarding the Law… Various areas of the Commission participate in these meetings with the aim of clarifying questions that companies might have regarding the regulation or the application for authorization to become an ITF.”

See also: Political transition rattles Mexico’s fintech industry

 

Large pool

The CNBV has identified 120 companies in operation that will need licensing under the Fintech Law. These companies have until September to apply, to be allowed to continue in business.

A further 43 companies have indicated interest in licensing as an ITF. These companies were not up and running when the Fintech Law was passed, meaning they must get CNBV authorization before starting operations.

As such, the regulator expects to receive 163 applications for companies to license as ITFs, the spokesperson said.

Regarding recent local media reports that just 15 fintechs would be authorized, the spokesperson said: “We are unaware of the assumptions used for that estimate. The CNBV is expecting to receive around 163 applications.”

Separately, a draft of the second batch of policy details for the Fintech Law was published on February 7. The rules cover information security, contracting with third parties, and other details.

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