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Latin American Banks Brace for the Fintech Wave

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According to the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the number of fintech companies in Latin America grew 66 percent between 2017 and 2018 … many being digital banks and lenders. An established attitude of mistrust due to frozen accounts and hyperinflation are reasons why only half of Latin American adults have bank accounts; not to mention the high fees and high interest.

Even though smartphones are heavily utilized, there are a lot factors that prevent the full adoption of digital banking. According to the IADB, one factor is that 4 out of every 5 countries in the region lack cyber security strategies and are therefore vulnerable to damaging cyber attacks.

Here is a list of LATAM fintech startups…

  • Albo – Mexican digital bank founded in 2016. A prepaid debit card with an app lets customers send zero-fee transfers and read up on free personal finance how-to reports.
  • Ualá – Argentia’s fully-mobile bank providing citizens with a worldwide debit mastercard.
  • Nubank – Brazilian bank that is the largest fintech firm outside of China providing clients with a cool purple credit card to be utilized on NFC payment systems across the country.
  • Aflore – Colombia’s loan sharing app. The loan system is called a Cadena and works with community leaders to handle the process via the Alore app.
  • MercadoLibre – offers innovative, mobile-first financial services to help consumers process payments with their eWallet – Mercadopago – and obtain credit. PayPal invested $750M.
  • Clip – Mexican-based platform specializing in mobile payments. Japans Softbank invested $20M to assist with scaling Clip’s mobile card readers a la Square.
  • Ripio Credit Network – Argentine digital payments startup operating on blockchain technology. Partnerd with MeracadoLibre on the Ripio eWallet introducing clients to cryptocurrency.

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