Generation Fintech: why Gen Z and Millennials are boosting the economy in Latin America

When you ask teens or young people in their 20s when was the last time they stepped on a bank, you may get “never” for an answer. But if you ask for their most recent wire transfer, they would probably answer, “Just a few minutes ago”. Nowadays, going to the bank seems like an old practice from years ago, and because of the pandemic, the boost of digitalization, and the young generations as the top consumers, the banking game has changed, and so it will continue.

Fintechs are leading this landscape, especially in Latin America. According to the report “Latin America and the Caribbean: a consolidated ecosystem for recovery” by IDB, in 2021, the number of fintech platforms reached 2,482, representing a growth of 112% between 2018 and 2021, and the numbers keep rising.

Fintechs occupy a bigger space in Latin America’s economy, and Millennials and Gen Z have much to do with it. Keep reading this blog and find out the current outlook of Fintech in Latin America, the causes of its rise, the reasons why younger generations love it, and what’s coming in the future.

Fintech Landscape in Latin America

Fintech in Latin America has recently been in the eye of global investors. According to CB Insights, a data provider, over 20 billion dollars of venture capital went into 952 deals in Latin America in 2021. This is nearly four times more than in 2019, when Latin American fintechs received 40% of venture funding in 2020.

Plus, due to COVID-19, money was mostly disbursed digitally. This has led to an estimated 40 million unbanked people signing up for traditional and digital accounts in countries like Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina.

This is precisely where Fintech aims. In a survey performed by IDB and Finnovista, 36% of the fintech startups surveyed answered that they present solutions targeted to segments of the population totally or partially excluded from the formal financial system. Who is included in this population? Millennials and Gen Z: People with no job experience, financial record, or stable incomes who still are the primary workforce and, most of all, the biggest consumers.

Why are Fintechs growing so fast?

There are many reasons to explain the rapid rise of fintech platforms, but we’re resuming them with three facts:

  1. Traditional banks support Fintech: Fintechs are not growing and doing it all independently. Just like venture capital is betting on them, traditional banks are getting close to them, too. According to Finnovista, 6 of 10 fintech companies in Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Peru reported collaborations with incumbent financial institutions. This reveals banks and fintech are likely to operate in a symbiotic relationship.
  2. E-wallets: being able to pay or collect without touching cash or having to swipe a card is another reason why Fintechs are continuously growing, and as a result of the pandemic, people lost their fear of using these means due to the restrictions to stay indoors. According to Research Lab (AyerViernes), currently, 30% of people in Latin America admit they have a downloaded digital wallet. Even though people continue to use cash, debit, and credit cards, in countries like Argentina, users have already identified e-wallets as their primary payment method. In Colombia, e-wallets have reached millions of users who just need a phone number to join the platforms, such as the case of Daviplata (5,9 million) and Nequi (1,3 million). Last but not least, Nubank, the Brazilian Fintech, offers credit cards with no handling fees, no formalities, and lots of flexibility. For example, users choose their own payment deadlines and don’t need to worry about calling the bank when going abroad because their cards will work no matter where they are.
  3. Government cooperation: Governments have also made it easier for Fintechs. For example, Fintechs in Colombia can get going without meeting the full requirements of a financial-service license.


Fintechs: the favourites of Millennials and Gen Z

Millennials and Gen Z were born between 1981 and 1995 and 1995 and 2010, respectively. From now on, these generations will be protagonists in all economies, including banking. There are several reasons why younger generations prefer fintech platforms, and it goes beyond fulfilling an unattended population.

A June 2021 survey by EY found that 51% of Gen Z consumers name a fintech company as their most trusted financial brand, while only 23% name a national bank. And why does it happen? According to The Wall Street Journal, three patterns show why Gen Z lean toward Fintech to manage their finances:

  • A dislike of credit card debt.
  • An expectation that brands will reflect their values.
  • A desire for community, networking, and self-education within financial services that invest in fun and recreational activities.

Fintech companies make a point to innovate by trying to reflect the values and appeal to the social concerns of the new generations: climate change, diversity, inclusion, etc. which has been a massive weakness of existing banks. Fintech appears like an easy, fun, and relatable alternative that communicates in the same language and understands their needs like no other business.

What’s coming up for Fintechs?

How do you imagine banks in the future? For Millennials and Gen Z, there are no banks at all. 33% of them believe that banks will not exist within five years. Fintechs have erased physical boundaries and opened new possibilities for anyone with a phone or internet connection.
For the next few years, Fintech’s goal is the integration of new services. The trend is for a single Fintech to offer the services that in previous years were offered by two or three companies, such as payment gateways in alliance with important companies, and to strengthen the features of their credit products, in addition, to scaling its offer to foreign markets.
Even though Fintechs are big enough in Latin America, the world leader in this field is still Asia. They’re paving the way for the evolution of the sector in the United States, Europe, and the rest of the world.
Whether they keep growing or not, Fintech companies have given all types of industries a lesson in product development and audience engagement. They’re filling the blank with the exact things their consumers want: an easy and simple product that fulfills their needs whenever they want, however they need to, and shaped to who they are.

Room4 Media in Latam

At Room4 Media, we are committed to helping brands create innovative strategies to help reach and connect with their ideal audience more effectively. For this reason, we created Room4 Latam, a specialized team that helps global companies launch their products, and services and localize existing campaigns in the region, delivering a remarkable end-to-end brand experience.

Our services cover the full spectrum of digital marketing and strategic communications strategy, social media management, paid advertising, video marketing, content creation, content localization, and public relations.

Are you looking for the right strategic partner for your brand in Latin America? Room4 media is here to help you achieve your goals with the proven marketing hacks and local knowledge. Find us on InstagramFacebook, and Linkedin as Room4Media and see more of what we can do for you and your company.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *