The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) had identified 1,166 new financial technology companies (fintech) in Latin America in 2018, an impressive 66% increase compared to the organization’s findings in the previous year.

Brazil led the financial technology market in the region with 380 new companies, followed by Mexico with 273, Colombia with 148, Argentina with 116 and Chile with 84.

About 24% of new companies offer payment and remittance services, of which only 18% provide loans.

A video explains what is Fintech.

What does IADB think about it?

In the survey, one in three companies reported having expanded their operations beyond the borders of their country of origin. “Although five countries account for 86% of the Fintech companies in the region, initiatives were identified in every country in Latin America. There is also a growing trend toward internationalization. This shows the opportunities that entrepreneurs are seeing but also the importance of strengthening dialogue and harmonization at the regional level,” said Juan Antonio Ketterer, Division Chief of the Connectivity, Markets, and Finance Division of the IADB.

“We found that 35% of the Fintech companies in Latin America were founded or co-founded by women, which is well above the global average, estimated to be 7%”.

The IADB has urged LatAm governments to enact laws to regulate these ventures, saying that around 35% of the new companies that surveyed favored the regulations.

A suggestion was that governments talk to industry entrepreneurs and formulate a law that encourages innovation.

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