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



Friday Briefing: Apple vs Banks

May 5, 2023

By Ivis Aguilera

We tell you the most important news of the week in digital banking, fintech and payments in Latin America

Today we Apple’s stunning growth in financial services. Plus – Mastercard is focusing on LatAm to test out a new crypto credential and Mercado Pago reports its Q1 results.

You may also be interested in our main note: Revolut started operating in Brazil, its first go-live in LatAm


Apple attracts $1bn in deposits in four days. Should banks worry?

In a sign of the potential of big tech and embedded finance brands, Apple launched a savings account in partnership with Goldman Sachs Bank in the US, which raised about $1 billion in the first 4 days of operations.

Although it is not clear when the product will reach LatAm, this is one more foray by Apple into finance (in addition to its digital wallet, credit card and buy-now-pay-later loans) that forces the ecosystem to think about the scope of big techs in the industry.

“For banks, the biggest threats are big techs, not fintechs,” says Colombo of N5 Now. “They have a sufficient customer base to potentially be profitable, without a great deal of complexity in the product offering.”

#Strategic Plays

Mastercard crypto credential trials will focus on LatAm

Mastercard took further steps into the virtual asset ecosystem with the launch of the Mastercard Crypto Credential, a set of standards to verify interactions between consumers and businesses operating on the blockchain such as crypto players, governments, and financial institutions. The first use case will focus on transfers between the US and Latin America and the Caribbean, the company said, highlighting our region’s high adoption of digital assets.

Stripe and Uber partner for payment processing

Uber signed a global deal with Stripe, the payment platform, to reduce costs and offer new forms of digital payment for its customers. Mexico and Brazil are among the countries where the ride share operator will use the paytech platform.

Invex Banco and eFactor Network partner to offer digital factoring

Invex Banco and the fintech eFactor Network agreed to work together on electronic factoring for medium and large companies in Mexico.



Gen Z and financial inclusion

What do centennials want from their financial institutions? And how can your institution better serve the newest generation of consumers?

María de Pilar Correa, chief product officer at NequiFelipe Naranjo, head of Mercado Pago Chile’s digital accounts, and Martín Mercado, head of Billú, the new digital wallet from Afirme, will join iupana’s very own Antony Pinedo on Tuesday to share their knowledge and experience in connecting with Gen Z clients. This special event is part of our dedicated series on Financial Inclusion in LatAm, in collaboration with Mercado Pago.

Don’t miss out on learning from this stellar line up of speakers. Sign up now.


Noodle receives US$3m to strengthen offer for content creators

Brazilian fintech Noodle, which provides financial services for digital content creators, received a capital injection of about R$15 million (US$3 million) from SRM Ventures to expand its operations. Other investors, including Honey Island Capital, EBANX’s investment arm, also placed some US$400,000 in Noodle.

EmpreX raises US$2m to boost its operations in Brazil

EmpreX, a Brazilian fintech that specializes in personal loans, received an investment of about $2 million in a pre-seed round led by Jason Nassof, a former Goldman Sachs executive. With the capital, the company seeks to strengthen its operations and services, in order to position itself as a major player in the Brazilian market.

#Financial results

Mercado Pago posts strong wallet growth

Mercado Pago’s financial diversification strategy is beginning to be reflected in its results. The company said its payment, investment, credit and insurance services helped boost Mercado Libre’s returns in the first quarter of the year. The wallet posted a year-on-year increase in users of 24.3%, to reach 44.5 million accounts and net income of nearly $1.4 billion, up 40.1% in dollar terms.

“After significant investments and product launches in 2021 and 2022, in Q1 23 we took an important step in positioning Mercado Pago as a full-service digital account,” said Pedro Arnt, CFO of Mercado Libre, on the results call. Still, Arnt acknowledged that although the credit division is making progress, a conservative view of risk in the portfolio is slowing the growth of the entire business.


This week we take an in-depth look at three banks and fintechs in Latin America implementing Banking as a Service (BaaS) in industries as varied as clean energy and accounting. Some takeaways:

  • Financial services providers need to gain customer loyalty with better experiences.
  • Banking as a service partnerships are expected to expand at a consolidated rate of 20% between 2023 and 2027.

We spoke with Banco Original, 2W Ecobank and Plurall about their strategies and plans. Read all about them in this week’s iupana Exclusive.

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