During a year of great uncertainty, readers turned to iupana to understand how digital banking, fintech and payments were evolving and adapting in Latin America and the Caribbean. COVID19 was a key topic all year, but our community was also interested on other important developments over the past 12 months.
The market was especially interested in the launch of new digital solutions, such as B89 or PLIN in Peru, or Tenpo in Chile. Expert opinions on what would happen to lending, e-commerce, payments, cyber security and digital channels generally also captured much attention. Regulatory developments and the moves of major players such as Mercado Libre or Credicorp were also highly-read.
As such, here are iupana‘s most-read articles of 2020, a reflection of the key areas of market interest. And we look forward to continuing to deliver the most relevant information on digital banking, fintech and payments in Latin America in 2021.
PLIN brings free inter-bank payments to Peru
Peruvian banks Scotiabank, BBVA and Interbank joined forces and introduced PLIN this year, a feature that enables transfers between banks immediately and free of charge.
The service, hosted in each bank’s mobile banking app, is the first of its kind in Peru, although the interoperability with other applications and institutions is still unresolved.
B89 aims to break the “near-oligopoly” in Peruvian banking
B89 generated a lot of buzz since its launch announcement this year, with an offering targeted towards young, dissatisfied bank customers. This Peruvian startup offers a 100% digital financial experience through a mobile app and is taking its first steps by offering a card “with” credit.
With coworking promotions and environmental focus, B89 is in a trial phase.
Covid-19: Cyberattacks add to bank challenges in pandemic
Remote working was labelled “the biggest experiment” of the year for banks by an expert interviewed for this article. And without a doubt, it was. Unexpectedly, the industry’s technological teams were forced to invest and take immediate action to prevent and counteract the cybercrimes that spread with the sudden, global shift to virtual interactions.
Coronavirus & Fintech: A test for digital channels
Surveying the opinion of experts and readers, iupana was able to predict the coming changes in banking and fintech as a result of the pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean.
As predicted, the industry had to accelerate the pace of its innovation and adopt digital channels to serve users who were limited from visiting branches. There was also a boom in e-commerce, partnerships between established institutions and fintechs, and the emergence of new virtual savings and loan solutions.
Credicorp targets Chilean retail banking market with app launch
Credicorp, a financial conglomerate based in Peru, dipped its toes into the Chilean retail banking market in early 2020, with the app-based service Tenpo, one of the five businesses that the company is promoting through its recently created innovation division, Krealo.
In the near future, the company hopes to provide Chileans with a market-leading digital account, offering better prices and user experience. Long term, the intention is to become a retail bank in the new country, in addition to expanding into other verticals, such as insurtech.
Mercado Libre gets closer to becoming a bank, targets credit growth
The news about Mercado Pago’s application to become a financial institution in Chile, in order to grow its payments and credit business, also generated a lot of interest.
In an interview with iupana, the company’s Chile CEO, Matías Spagui, said that the multinational was waiting for the endorsement of the authorities to increase investment and launch Mercado Crédito, its loan product, in addition to expanding its electronic wallet.
Does Peru need a Fintech Law? Banks say yes – but startups aren’t so sure
Both the fintech sector and the Peruvian banks see a promising – and profitable – future in partnerships. However, some players in the banking industry are concerned because, they argue, there is no clear shared starting point for both sectors.
Peru has been making progress in fintech regulation, but does not have a legal umbrella similar to that of other countries in the region such as Brazil or Mexico, and which has proven to give a sense of security to cross-industry partnerships, a particularly important point for banks.
Coronavirus: Demand for fintech loans jumps in LatAm
The economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on digital credit operations in Latin America.
Since the beginning of the crisis, fintechs reported a strong growth in demand for loans, and were forced to generate creative ways to prevent a possible deterioration in the loan portfolio.
Mexico’s Fintech Law: Open banking rules delayed
The Mexican banking and securities regulator announced in February that the Fintech Law would be modified, seeking to level the playing field between banks and fintechs. In addition, the publication of critical details on open banking were postponed.
The new provisions that will regulate open banking operations must be published in the first quarter of 2021.
Covid-19 lifts e-commerce usage in Latin America
With activity up 40% in Brazil, 85% in the United States and 49% in Peru, only in the first weeks of lockdown, e-commerce exploded to unforseen levels during the pandemic. This brought many benefits, but also challenges.
Increased demand was accompanied by delivery challenges, marketing needs and new forms of digital payment.