No menu items!

Fintech Business Guide 2021/2022: Expansion and consolidation in Latin America

By Lic. Federico Trelles – Senior Consulting Manager at EY Uruguay

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – EY presents the FinTech Business Guide 2021/2022, a comprehensive document on the industry, regulatory perspectives, and critical legal, financial, and accounting aspects for the development of FinTech companies in Latin America.

We present a summary of the most important aspects by country:


In this country, the number of FinTech companies increased from 474 to 1,174 from 2015 to 2021, representing the largest FinTech market in Latin America.

However, there are nearly 60 million unbanked people there, out of a population of 210 million, so there is still a massive opportunity for financial inclusion.

During the pandemic, FinTechs have support in accessing financial assistance from the government. In the case of Brazil, Mercado Libre’s Mercado Pago became very relevant as it has grown by more than 3.5 million users since the beginning of the “emergency aid” provided during the pandemic.

On the other hand, the Brazilian Central Bank has supported the ecosystem by updating its national payment system, as FinTech companies and banks now use PIX (National Instant Payment System) nals tool to integrate transactions and improve competitive dynamics among Brazilian banks.

In addition, the Brazilian Central Bank plans for PIX to be used for international remittances in 2022 or 2023.

Technological progress and its positive effects allow us to get closer and closer to financial inclusion throughout the region (Photo internet reproduction)


Our country is no stranger to global trends. The exponential technological development of recent years and the emergence of new technologies and business models bring challenges and opportunities for the country’s financial services industry.

Read also: Check out our coverage on Uruguay

According to the Global Fintech Ranking index conducted by Findexable (each country is evaluated based on three indicators: Number of fintech companies, their quality, and local business environment), Uruguay was positioned among the top 20 countries in the world in this category.

In addition, Uruguay was the country that gained the most in terms of fintech performance in one year. It climbed 46 positions from 63rd in 2020 to 17th in 2021, positioning itself as the second-best Latin American country in the global fintech ranking, behind Brazil.

The success of the company d-local mainly explains this significant jump for Uruguay and its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, as well as the cases of successful fintech companies in the country such as Paganza, Prex, Micheque, Prometeo, and the cryptocurrency company Ripio, to name a few.

Finally, it is essential to highlight that the BCU promotes the “NOVA” program. This area facilitates innovation processes in the financial system through three related initiatives: creating an Observatory, an Office and Innovation Node, and a Fintech Forum.

NOVA is a space for open dialogue between professionals, entrepreneurs, and regulators to reflect on the future and contribute to creating value for users of the financial system, focusing on stability and user protection to improve the efficiency and accessibility of services.

In December 2021, the conceptual framework for the regulatory treatment of virtual assets in Uruguay was published.


In Argentina, the FinTech growth phase continues, with significant opportunities and specific warnings and new regulations from the Argentine Central Bank. Although the digitization of payments has increased significantly, there is still much room for further growth.

Today, about 70% of payments are made in cash due to financial literacy and habits, tax burden, cost of payments (with a downward trend due to the opening of the payments and remittances 3.0 market).

In addition, there is still a sizeable unbanked market and an unmet demand for these services related to digital wallets, cards, and other less-used areas with great potentials, such as financial management, insurtech, credit, not only for individuals but also for SMEs.

On the other hand, the report shows that partnerships between traditional, digital, or fintech financial institutions and other players in the business ecosystem (e.g., e-commerce, retailers, telecoms, and others) are becoming more common to explore new ways to deliver services.


Chile has the highest banking penetration in Latin America, with 74% of the population active in banking. In 2020, card payments increased by 38.4% (volume) and 9.6% (amount).

However, it is worth noting that in 2019 and 2020, the number of FinTech customers more than doubled. In line with this, the country is considering a draft FinTech law that aims, among other things, to establish a legal and regulatory framework for crowdfunding platforms and other FinTech activities related to the securities market, as well as the regulation of Open Finance.

In terms of growth, 93% of FinTechs intend to expand to other regions, choosing Latin American countries, with Mexico being the first choice for 45% of FinTech companies.


There are currently (according to a study conducted by Equifax Venture Exchange and Emprende Innovation Center) about 168 FinTechs in Peru.

This represents a 14% growth compared to last year’s FinTechs. According to the study, the leading verticals in the country are lending, foreign exchange, and payments.

Not only have FinTechs grown, but the companies supervised by the Banking, Insurance, and AFP Regulatory Authority have reported around 200 new vital changes related to digital products and services.

In this context, it is worth highlighting that the changes include their initiatives and alliances with startups that facilitate the digital transformation of products and processes.

In terms of investment, according to data compiled by PECAP, Peruvian startups were able to raise $46 million in the capital in 2020, of which 18% was invested in FinTech.

Technological progress and its positive effects allow us to get closer and closer to financial inclusion throughout the region. Regulators must keep up with the pace of the industry to achieve more successful, reliable, and faster operations.

Learn more about the situation in Uruguay and other Latin American countries and public policies, regulations, trends, and services related to the sector by downloading the full version of the FinTech Business Guide 2021/2022, prepared by EY.

Check out our other content

You have free article(s) remaining. Subscribe for unlimited access.