Fintech in Latin America

In 2020, the Bank for International Settlements published a research paper that found that in 2019, more than half of Latin Americans had no access to any type of financial service.[1]

 

That same year, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico accounted for the largest fintech deals in Latin America. These same countries were considered to have the most mature fintech firms.[2]

 

This article summed the countries that have fintech regulation in Latin America:[3]

 

AreaFintech activities/operationsLawRegulationMinimum StandardGuideline, recommendationPublic Statement
Payments, clearing and settlement servicesMobile, web payment

 

E-money

 

 

 

Mobile wallets

MX

 

 

MX, PE

AR, CL, MX, PE, UY

 

AR, CL, MX, PE,

 

AR, CL, PE

CL, CO, PE, UY

 

CL

 

 

 

CL, PE

 

 

 

PE

Alternative finance and depositsFintech credit

 

 

 

Peer-to-peer lending

 

Electronic deposits

 

 

 

 

PE

 

 

CO

AR, BR,

MX, PE, UY, CO

 

 

 

 

 

PE, UY

 

 

 

 

PE

 

 

 

CrowdfundingEquity crowdfunding

 

 

 

 

 

Loan-based crowdfunding

AR, CL, CO, PE, MX

 

CL, CO, PE

AR, BR, CL, CO, MX, PE

 

 

 

BR, CL, CO, MX, PE

PE

 

 

 

 

 

PE

PE

 

 

 

 

 

PE

Asset management, trading servicesE-trading and high frequency trading

 

Robo-advice

CL

 

 

CL

 

CryptoassetsAdvising

Initial coin offerings

General services

 

 

MX

 

 

MX, PE

BR

BR

AR

BR, CL

BR

AR

 

Source: Carlos Cantú and Bárbara Ulloa, ‘The Dawn of Fintech in Latin America: Landscape, Prospects and Challenges

 

This shows that most of the regulatory efforts in Latin America have been focused on mobile and web payments, e-money, peer-to-peer lending, and crowdfunding. In addition to this most central bank regulators have opted to issue their regulations based upon fintech activity rather than entity-based regulations (Mexico being the exception).[4]

 

Grey areas do exist too. One example being Chile, where crowdfunding was not regulated at the time of publishing the article.[5] However, on 3 September this year, the Chilean government sent a draft law on Fintech to its congress. It regulates, among other things, crowdfunding, alternative transaction systems, cryptoassets, and credit and investment advisory services. The bill shows that Fintech regulation in Latin America is still in the midst of development in order to deal with new business models.

 

Bolivia was not part of this regulatory survey.

 

So, what happens in Bolivia? Find our answer in next week’s post.

 

[1] Carlos Cantú and Bárbara Ulloa, ‘The Dawn of Fintech in Latin America: Landscape, Prospects and Challenges’, n.d., 44.

[2] Cantú and Ulloa.

[3] Cantú and Ulloa, (valid to the date of publishing of their article).

Cantú and Ulloa.

[5] Cantú and Ulloa.

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