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12 Retail Banking Trends Financial Institutions Should Leverage

By Cesar Cotait - Exadel
CEO Latin America


By Cesar Cotait | CEO - Fri, 05/12/2023 - 10:00

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Are you looking to grow your retail banking offering in Mexico? You wouldn’t be alone, especially given that Mexico has the second-highest GDP in Latin America, surpassed only by Brazil. 

However, with a bank branch density of only 6.6 branches per 1,000km2it’s vital for financial institutions in Mexico to consider emerging trends that can help them deliver more services to a wider population. 

This article outlines some of the best up-and-coming retail banking trends financial institutions in Mexico should be looking to leverage in 2023, including digital banking, open banking, and financial 

Keep reading to learn more about the best tools and strategies you can offer to help innovate and grow your retail banking services in Mexico in 2023. 

Digital Banking Offerings 

Traditional institutions need to consider their digital banking offerings if they’re operating in Mexico. 

With approximately 60% of people in Mexico currently unbanked, digital banking presents an exceptional opportunity for traditional financial institutions to serve more customers. Shockingly, despite such a large portion of the population being unbanked, 94% of Mexicans are reported to use online banking mobile apps or services, with 96% of them not being tied to a traditional bank account. 

These are startling numbers, showing the huge rise in non-traditional financial services across Mexico, and displaying a big gap traditional financial institutions should look to fill. There is an opportunity for people in Mexico to access the online, digital financial services they are looking for, but with these services being tied to a traditional bank account and provided by a traditional banking institution.  

Digital banking is an especially important offering given the rural nature of some portions of Mexico, where many people live quite some distance from the nearest branch. This distance has played a big role in the rise in digital banking offerings. 

Open Banking and Ultra-Personalization 

Retail banks in Mexico should be looking for any opportunities to personalize their services and content to each unique customer, something that’s facilitated by open banking. 

Tapping into open banking APIs enables you to market more effectively to your target user base. By facilitating ultra-personalization, open banking helps to increase brand affinity and loyalty. 

For example, with access to more data, you can automatically uncover the exact moment a customer or potential customer may be open to a new service. This enables you to market services to them at exactly the right time. For instance, open banking can help you automatically track when a customer is likely to start looking for a mortgage, which gives you a great chance to offer them a mortgage loan, or when they’re about to have a baby, in which case you can promote newborn baby savings accounts to help them save for the future. 

While regulation has been a barrier to open banking in several countries, such banking initiatives are fortunately quite advanced in Mexico. However, implementation dates are still a little unclear. This gives institutions in Mexico the opportunity to get ahead in the open banking game, an advantage retail banks should be considering. 

Budgeting Tools and Financial Wellness

Encouraging and enhancing financial wellness is definitely a trend retail banks in Mexico should be looking into. A great way to do this is by providing in-app budgeting tools. 

Budgeting tools can include categorizing transactions so customers can see exactly what they spend in common groupings like rent, food, and bills. This can help them understand what their base spending is. Further groupings can include going out, takeouts, and restaurants. This can help customers understand where their money is going and where they can reduce spending if they’re looking to save or invest more.  

Another great budgeting tool is the ability to create an in-app budget, and then for the app to automatically allocate transactions and payments to sections of the budget as they happen and send out notifications in the case of overspending on a budget line item. While not completely foolproof, this can be a big help to keep customers within their budgets. 

Another great trend retail banks in Mexico should leverage in partnership with budgeting tools is financial education. This can take the place of short-form videos, workshops, online blogs, and in-app recommendations to help customers in Mexico better understand how to manage their finances. 

Great financial wellness topics include how to budget – which works great when incorporating a real-life tool to practice with – how to save for retirement, how to invest, how to create an emergency fund, and how to use credit. 

Saving Spaces 

Saving spaces are another great way to encourage financial wellness. Offer separate sections, within the app but apart from the main bank account, where money can be kept separately as a way to save. While all the money is still theoretically in the same bank account, this can help customers manage their savings more easily and prevents them from opening another account at another bank to use as their savings account. 

Spending, Subscription, and Fee Notifications

Notifications can help keep people informed about their finances and aware of what they are currently paying, as well as what they will be paying in the future. Great in-app or mobile notifications you can activate for your customers include notifications when a payment is made or a transaction is sent. Other notifications can inform users when a subscription or fee payment is coming up, giving them the opportunity to cancel any subscriptions timeously or avoid paying any unnecessary fees. 

For fee notifications, a great example is when a customer is getting close to an overdraft or foreign exchange limit, where reaching that limit will trigger a fee being charged by your financial institution. These notifications can go a long way in helping democratize wealth, as well as building more trust and brand affinity among your users. 


A single, cohesive brand voice across all channels is vital for banks today. This instills trust and helps attract and retain more customers. By creating a holistic, unified retail banking ecosystem, you can help meet and exceed customer expectations. 

Digital Assets 

With an estimated 3.1 million crypto owners currently in Mexico and the number rising, offering digital assets as a retail bank provides a game-changing competitive edge. The market is huge, in fact, 40% of Mexican companies are looking to use either blockchain or cryptocurrencies in the future, with 71% of that number specifically focused on crypto. 

Updated Systems

Legacy systems can be a big obstacle to growth. By using the cloud and updating to modern systems, retail banks are better able to serve their customers, are more flexible, and can deliver faster, better services. 

Moving People From Personal Banking to Business Banking 

Helping customers start their own businesses is a highly underutilized trend. People never forget those who help them strike out on their own, ensuring you’ll gain a loyal fan for life. Not to mention that customers with businesses may, over time, bring in more deposits from their successful businesses or request more credit to help run their business, ultimately bringing more funds into your financial institution. 

Great ways to help customers start their own businesses include: 

  • Business Resources: Sharing business resources across articles, in-app recommendations, and short-form videos can help spark and motivate your user base to start their own businesses. 

  • Sharing Stories: Often, hearing about someone else who has been through something similar before helps take away a lot of fear. Sharing stories of other customers who started businesses such as an agricultural operation or a clothing line, is a great way to help encourage your users and build more of a connection between your institution and your user base. 

  • Tax and Government Assistance: The easier you make it to start a business, the more likely your customers are to go ahead. Consider sharing common documents your users may require when starting their own businesses, or recommendations for filing taxes.

  • Easy Business Banking: You don’t want to do all that work helping them strike out on their own, only to lose them as a business banking customer. Make it easy to open a business bank account by placing a clear button within their personal banking app. At the very least, even if they need to complete the process at a local branch, they should be able to start the process in-app or online.

AI and ML

Leverage AI and ML in a range of vital areas. AI can help speed up onboarding, manage KYC and AML, and deliver better insights. It can monitor transactions for fraud or abnormal behavior, thereby helping to improve security. You can also create AI bots to help assist customers with common queries. 

Improved Security 

With 44% of respondents surveyed in Mexico saying they have experienced card fraud, it’s vital for financial institutions to look into ways they can help improve banking security. Great trends in improved security include leveraging AI to assess the likelihood of fraud before it happens, providing financial intelligence resources, and keeping customers informed via notifications of common scams going on in their area. 


Did you know a non-banking company can use your banking license - with your permission - to integrate digital banking into their services? And that this can help you generate more revenue? Well, you can. By lending your banking license out to new companies, you open yourself up to new revenue streams with minimal effort. 

How Can Mexican Banks Start Leveraging Retail Banking Trends Today? 

By leveraging smart resourcing and partnering with technology companies, financial institutions in Mexico can open themselves up to new revenue streams, improve their customer relationships, reduce security concerns, and attract and retain more users with the latest trends in retail banking. 

Ready to start leveraging the top retail banking trends in Mexico? Contact Exadel today.

Photo by:   Cesar Cotait

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