Descubre el futuro de las finanzas en América Latina y el Caribe

The future of finance in LatAm & the Caribbean

O futuro das finanças na América Latina e no Caribe



The digital spinoff boom: How neobanks are springing from traditional banks

Apr 10, 2023

By Antony Pinedo

Map: Latin American banks are increasingly launching digital brands to conquer new customer segments. From Mexico to Chile, here’s an overview of the digital spinoffs from traditional institutions

Latin American banks are joining the digital wave. While some are moving more quickly than others, many lenders are launching their own neobanks in a bid to adapt to new consumer habits, explore new technologies and compete with growing fintech rivals such as Nubank, Ualá and C6 Bank.

At least three spinoff digital banks will start operations in the coming months, industry sources tell iupana, And the trend is set to continue as banks seek to reach new customers in segments of the population that have scant connection with traditional institutions.

“The banks aren’t cannibalizing each other. They’re acquiring customers they can’t capture with their traditional models. They’re entering the competition's market to saturate it, to take their share,” says Andrés Carriedo, founder of DesignBanking, a Mexico City-based digital transformation consultancy.

Below, we present a map of the region’s digital bank offshoots, so that you can keep sight of the latest entrants and have a handy overview of this segment:


  1. Banregio: Hey banco

Established in 2017, it was one of the pioneers of the movement in Mexico. Hey Banco executives said in mid-2022 the bank had applied to Mexican regulators for a license to operate independently of Banregio.

  1. Afirme: Billú

Banco Afirme plans to start operations at Billú by May. The spinoff aims to offer financial services to young people, with a focus on the gaming and metaverse segments. Martín Mercado, the head of Billú, recently told iupana that Afirme is targeting an audience that's interested in new technologies.

  1. Invex: Now

Now started operations in February under Index’s umbrella and plans to begin issuing credit cards in the medium term. Jorge Rodríguez, Now’s product director, says there is room in the Mexican market for a broader offering of customized credit lines, interest rates and payment by installments.

  1. Santander: Superdigital and Openbank

Santander has an ambitious plan for LatAm involving Superdigital, its spinoff aimed at the unbanked population and that offers savings and payment products. The brand already operates in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico, and plans to start operations in Colombia, Peru and Uruguay this year to increase the number of active customers to 5 million.

Openbank, on the other hand, is a more complete package in terms of products, offering financing, insurance and cards. In Latin America, it only has operations in Argentina at present but has scheduled its launch in Mexico for the first quarter of 2024.

  1. Banorte: Bineo

Bineo was the first digital bank to be authorized by Mexican regulators. A spokesperson for the bank told iupana last month that they expected operations to start in the second half of this year.

  1. Actinver: Dinn

The financial services group Actinver introduced Dinn with a focus on investments. The platform allows customers to open a savings account with a debit card.



  1. Bancolombia: Nequi

Nequi was launched in 2016 and now operates separately from its parent, Bancolombia. The Colombian regulator authorized Nequi  to operate as a financing company last August, at which point it adopted a new growth strategy led by CEO Andrés Vázquez, who has been with the company since its beginnings.

  1. Davivienda: Daviplata

With a presence in El Salvador and Colombia, Daviplata is one of the longest-running digital proposals in the region. The app was established in 2011 and has since added payments through QR for small merchants, among other features.

  1. Grupo Aval: Dale!

Grupo Aval, which owns Banco de Bogotá, launched Dale! in 2020 in what was the financial conglomerate’s first digital spinoff. The platform has just under a million customers.

  1. GNB Sudameris: Lulo Bank

GNB Sudameris —property of the Gilinski family— introduced its digital banking arm, Lulo Bank, in 2021. Lulo CEO Santiago Covelli expects user numbers to reach 1 million this year.

  1. Pichincha: Pibank

Ecuador’s Banco Pichincha started Pibank operations in Colombia late last year, offering an account with cashback benefits and no minimum opening amount. The platform has been operating in Spain since 2018.

  1. Dann Financial: Iris

Financiera Dann set up its neobank, Iris, in 2021. The digital bank is focused on savings and loans for SMEs entrepreneurs.



  1. Banco de Guayaquil: PeiGO

PeiGo has been available in the Ecuadorian market since September 2022 and is expected to have 250,000 customers by the middle of this year. Oriented to younger population segments, the digital wallet represents Banco de Guayaquil's first foray into the fintech field.



  1. BCP: Yape

The Credicorp group introduced its Yape digital wallet in 2016 and it’s currently the market leader with more than 12 million users. Yape grew through a money transfer service using telephone numbers, but the product has evolved and now offers microcredits.



  1. ICBC: YOY

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) last year launched YOY, a digital wallet geared toward Generation Z that brings together services such as a fashion marketplace and information about online games.



  1. Itaú: Iti

The giant Itaú Unibanco introduced its Iti platform in 2019. A payment solution with QR codes, it quickly expanded into merchant acquiring products and credit cards. Iti also provides an account for users aged 14 to 17 years. As of September last year, it had approximately 18 million users.

  1. Bradesco: Next – Digio

Bradesco has two digital brands operating in the Brazilian market: Next and Digio. Bradesco announced two weeks ago its Bitz digital wallet would close and its users would be transferred to the Digio platform.



  1. BCI: Mach

Mach was introduced in 2017 by BCI to streamline payments between users and compete with rival proposals such as Mercado Pago. Last year, the product expanded to allow transfers to other banks.

  1. Ripley: Chek

Grupo Ripley has an ambitious development plan for its Chek digital wallet, which began operations in 2020. A few months ago, we highlighted the group's interest in enabling a remittance product and using Chek to complete the ecosystem of financial solutions.