Can Apps Help Mexico Increase Financial Inclusion?By Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Thu, 05/13/2021 - 16:08
"Mexico stands out as the main potential market in Spanish-speaking Latin America, occupying the seventh position worldwide in [the total] number of app installations,” claims AppsFlyer. The company’s study ‘Fintech App Marketing Insights: LATAM Edition 2021’ analyzed the growth and scale of fintech applications throughout Latin America. According to the study, which can be found in AppsFlyer’s website, Mexico ranked in the first place, followed by Brazil and Colombia.
The fintech world has been radically transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which reshaped the way people interact with financial institutions, explains AppsFlyer’s report. In 2020 the digital transformation accelerated, changing mindsets and making people less afraid to jump into the fintech wagon. According to the report, there was a 20 percent increase in finance applications installed between 1Q20 and 1Q21. Also, the installation of digital bank applications soared by 45 percent. “Mobile apps are playing a critical role in this transformation around the world and especially in large developing markets that prioritize mobile technology,” reads the report.
Mexico is on the route of digital and financial innovation but is that enough to create financial inclusion? “Fintech companies must continue striving toward rethinking the (financial) model and not just the technology. Currently, a vast majority of the Mexican population is far removed from the ‘center’ of innovation. But they should be the center of it,” writes Héctor Cárdenas, CEO and Founder of Conekta, in an article he wrote for MBN.
According to the WorldBank, “financial inclusion means that individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs.” It is a way to remove barriers that exclude people from participating in the financial sector so they are able to use services to improve their lives.
According to Enrique Suárez, CEO of MountX Real Estate Capital, financial access does not necessarily mean financial inclusion. Opening a bank account or downloading an app is not enough as it does not offer a way to see if the welfare of consumers has improved. There needs to be more financial literacy to create financial inclusion, says Suárez, and people need to understand the advantages of a healthy financial profile to advance. “Going forward, we need to build an understanding that the financial inclusion journey does not end at financial access. Rather, until people are actively using and exploiting the tools at their disposal to improve their financial situations, and thus creating a society with truly shared prosperity, our job is not done,” he wrote in an article for MBN.