The fintech ecosystem is one of the fastest growing in recent years in Argentina and the region. This is due to technological advances and the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, which gave an additional boost to a branch of activity that had already been “overshadowing” traditional banking and narrowed the gap with the “digital boom”.
A special report presented by Credencial Payments, a technology and payment methods company in LATAM, shows the exponential growth of these financial technology companies, both locally and regionally, despite the obstacles posed by the national and international situation.
“We are at the perfect moment in which Banks and Fintech converge, generating synergies in the creation of a digital ecosystem,” said Jorge Larravide, Marketing Manager of Credencial Payments and professor at DiTella University in Fintech Executive Programs.
For the expert, the current context enhances the transformation of people’s experience, “true center and objective to generate 21st-century digital solutions that make their lives easier in a secure and accessible environment.”
“The report, beyond the conjunctural issues -such as specific issues that certain companies had to reduce their staff-, shows how the sector continues to be transformative,” says Larravide, who also highlights as a very interesting fact that, despite the easing of the restrictions imposed to curb the advance of the Covid-19 virus, users maintain the new habits of “virtualization”, where the increase in the use of digital money stands out. In addition, the dynamics of companies, whether local or foreign capital, is also on the rise due to the temptation of the Argentine ecosystem.
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The importance of the fintech sector in the labor market
Fintech companies are part of what is known as the Knowledge Economy, a sector that is growing without ceilings, both in Argentina and LATAM, as well as in the rest of the world. The main disciplines are technology, business, marketing, and digital product. The main roles are Developers, Product Owners, Product Manager, UX/UI Designer, among others.
By the end of 2022, there will be more than 27,000 people working in the fintech sector, of which 42% are female and 58% male. As for the national perspective, 41% of Fintech collaborators live in the interior of the country.
“The employment data in the Fintech sector is very relevant not only because of its growth (86% in the last two years and close to 400% in the last 5 years) but because it shows that talent is in every corner of Argentina and because especially in Fintechs is where the culture of remote work is most developed. It no longer matters where I am, the talent I have matters,” Larravide explained.
In addition, the concept of interoperability is key to the growth of the sector’s activities, because it allows individuals to make payments regardless of the bank where their account is registered, and can even be used by people who have a digital account or manage a prepaid account.
Main axes to explain the most relevant changes introduced by the fintech sector
Users: greater accessibility to digital financial services generating greater financial and digital inclusion. It is remarkable the development of models of greater product customization and empowerment of end users.
Employment: Fintech is a sector that boosts the absorption of employment and talent, in a context where talent is global and requires employees to be more flexible and resilient.
Technology: exponential advances are being developed in a context of complex systems to provide new services to the user. But technology not only has no limits but also no borders, with the right talent it is possible to develop the best digital products in any country.
Integrated Fintech ecosystem: unlike banks, which with few exceptions are universal (serving individuals, businesses, companies, and governments), fintech companies specialize in a specific business vertical (payments, loans, etc.). The other characteristic is that fintech companies operate in an integrated and collaborative way, generating an ecosystem, which in the last 3 years has finished consolidating, functions, and is part of the economy, integrated together with Banks within the framework of specific regulation.
Digital payments: boom and consolidation
The balance indicates that the Fintechs of the “Digital Payments” vertical is the most developed and the one that continues to grow by leaps and bounds: in the last two years, it went from 64 to 132 companies of this type of service.
This is in line with the enormous growth in the digitization of money and monetary transactions.
According to the latest BCRA Retail Payments report (September 2022), while credit card payments remain stable and debit card payments are growing, all types of Transfer Payments (including Interoperable QR) are growing exponentially.
What’s happening with embedded finance
Technological disruption has fostered changes in consumption and faster transactions.
Embedded payments may be the answer to this new paradigm: they consist of improving the customer experience by maximizing the most attractive stage (the service received) and minimizing the least exciting (the payment stage).
An example to achieve this is to request the customer’s credit card data on a one-time basis and then rescue that data for subsequent transactions.
“There are technologies that are more down to earth, but in the case of embedded finance, there are companies that, although they have advanced in this field, still have a lot of ground to cover. This field is one of the fastest growing, but it still has aspects to be rounded off,” remarked the Credencial Payments expert.
What’s ahead for the fintech sector
The outlook for the coming years is that the change introduced by fintech companies to the global financial world will continue with more users, more transactions, more employment, and more investments.
None of these factors seems to be slowing down. On the contrary: the digital phenomenon has reached even the most traditional financial instruments, such as the check, which is being rapidly replaced by the e-cheque (from November 2020 to September 2022 it went from 11.3% to 31.5% market share, while if measured in consolidated amounts it went from 30.9% to 57.4%, according to BCRA data).
Furthermore, even in a context of economic uncertainty, the number of fintech companies in Argentina will continue to increase, a scenario that will also be replicated in different Latin American and European countries.
Digital transformation is a fact. Digital payments have managed to consolidate as an alternative in the way citizens relate to their financial needs.
DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of Born2Invest, its management, staff or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.
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First published in iProUP, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
Although we made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translations, some parts may be incorrect. Born2Invest assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions or ambiguities in the translations provided on this website. Any person or entity relying on translated content does so at their own risk. Born2Invest is not responsible for losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy or reliability of translated information. If you wish to report an error or inaccuracy in the translation, we encourage you to contact us.
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