Mexico’s fintech scene has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Between being the first in the region to implement a law specifically dedicated to fintech to boasting seriously innovative homegrown talent, Mexico is in many ways leading the way when it comes to fintech in LATAM.
Mexico represents fertile ground for fintech growth and has paved the way for local talent as well as welcomed foreign players into the ecosystem. With characteristics including a promising market size, high population of unbanked citizens, proximity to the U.S., and clear fintech laws under the Ley Fintech, it’s no surprise that the country’s fintech sector grew by an average annual rate of 23% since 2016 and there are 180 fintech startups in Mexico City alone.
Let’s dive into what’s behind Mexico’s fintech success, the leading players, and what we can expect to see moving forward.
What’s behind Mexico’s fintech growth?
Mexico’s fintech success didn’t happen by accident — the growth of the sector has come about due to a number of factors that created a welcoming environment for both local and foreign fintechs.
Around 40 million people in Mexico (roughly one-third of the population) are unbanked. This has allowed fintechs to plug the gap that traditional banking services have failed to fill, giving many Mexicans access to services like bank accounts, credit, and insurance for the first time. Importantly, Mexico’s population is becoming increasingly tech savvy and smartphone adoption is rising rapidly, while the country’s sheer market size makes it an attractive option for investors and incoming startups.
When it comes to supporting local talent, Mexico is home to accelerator programs such as Startupbootcamp’s Fintech Mexico City, Finnovista, and Fintech Mexico. These organizations also offer education and networking opportunities for their members through online resources and events.
Mexico is also the first country in LATAM to introduce a law specifically to address fintechs, which came into effect in 2018 with further developments expected in 2021. The law covers e-wallets and crowdfunding companies and provides regulatory sandboxes for fintech products that lie outside of existing modalities. As it stands, 52 fintechs have been authorized to operate under the law by Mexico’s Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (CNBV), and 38 others are waiting to receive the authorization. For more information on the Fintech Law and regulation across LATAM, check out this blog.
So, who are the main players taking Mexico by storm?
Leading players on Mexico’s fintech scene
Mexico is ripe with fintech innovation. Here are some of our top picks.
Konfio is Mexico’s largest online lending platform for small and medium-sized enterprises, and recently raised $125 million from Lightrock and SoftBank. Konfio combines data and technology to measure the creditworthiness of companies and support their economic growth.
Clip.mx provides mobile point-of-sale solutions to offline retailers, allowing them to accept payments on their smartphone or tablet using the Clip card reader. Clip enables commerce across the country with the aim to democratize financial services in Mexico. It’s no surprise that the company recently closed a $250 million investment round and is valued at almost $2 billion.
Credijusto is a technology-enabled lending platform, providing various types of business loans up to the value of $30 million to SMEs. The company recently became the first Mexican fintech to acquire a bank, catering to the growing demand for digital lending solutions.
Albo is a digital banking platform that provides consumers with a prepaid card and app to use for bill payments, money transfers, online and offline purchases, and cash withdrawals. The challenger bank raised $45 million in 2020 and is consolidating its position as one of Mexico’s top fintechs.
And as more fintechs are authorized to operate under the country’s Fintech Law, Mexico’s ecosystem will only expand. Mexico is also seeing foreign players enter the market, such as Brazil’s leading fintech in secured loans, Creditas. The entrance of the Brazilian unicorn to Mexico’s market has “not only increased competition, but more importantly, competitiveness within the finance sector is now forcing traditional institutions to accelerate their process of digitization,” according to Luis Barrios, member of the council of Mexico’s Fintech Association and founder of Arkangeles.com.
Looking ahead, we can expect to see increased integration between local banks and third-party fintechs. The pandemic dramatically heightened the need for digitized banking services, and traditional institutions that can’t meet this need in-house will look to the country’s innovative fintechs to help them get there.
Consumers in Mexico will benefit from these integrations by being able to better manage their finances, apply for credit, pay their bills, and even trade and invest using digital products. Businesses will be able to provide a better customer experience and access the credit they need to grow their operations.
While many of Mexico’s population remain uncertain about trusting fintechs with their money and personal information, these types of partnerships with traditional banks will help build trust as well as increase access to convenient and streamlined financial services.
Mexico’s fintech scene is just getting started. As regulation expands, investment in homegrown talent continues, and more foreign companies step into the market, we can only expect to see further innovation in digital products and increased access to financial services.