Mexico's financial sector has been actively pursuing regulatory reforms to foster greater financial inclusion. These regulatory changes aim to address the substantial gaps in the use of financial services within the Mexican population, which have been mostly driven by a lack of trust in the sector.
One of the significant milestones in enhancing financial inclusion was the introduction of the Fintech Law. “This legislation prompted financial authorities to adjust the regulatory framework for all participants in the financial sector,” said José Luis Ortiz Guzmán, Mexico Compliance Attorney, Adyen, during his presentation at Mexico Business Forum 2023, Finance & Fintech edition. “As a result, financial authorities can now offer debit and credit accounts through non-face-to-face means, expanding access to financial services.”
Financial authorities and industry players are pouring efforts and investments in improving user experience. To gain deeper insights into these efforts, it is crucial to consider the National Survey of Financial Inclusion (ENIF), which plays a vital role in identifying the existing gaps in financial inclusion. According to the ENIF survey conducted in 2021, 56.7 million people between 18 and 70 years old, accounting for 67.8% of the population, had some form of formal financial product. This represents an increase from 54 million people in 2018, pointing to the advances in expanding access to financial services within the Mexican population.
Regarding formal savings, the ENIF 2021 survey revealed that 41.2 million individuals aged 18 to 70 had at least one formal savings account, representing 49.1% of the population within that age range. This figure marks an increase from 47.1% in 2018, showcasing a positive trend in the use of formal savings.
The survey also found that in 2021, 27.4 million individuals between 18 and 70 years old had at least one formal credit account, accounting for 32.7% of the population in that age group. This indicates a 1.6 percentage point increase compared to 2018, demonstrating progress in expanding access to credit services. In 2021, 70.8% of that population used some type of financial channel, with ATMs being the most popular choice, used by 52.1% of the population, followed by financial services at commercial places with 43.9% and banks with 41.5%.
The ENIF survey also plays a key role in identifying gaps in financial inclusion and developing new ways to promote it, explains Ortiz. The survey provides valuable information for financial authorities to make necessary regulatory improvements and guides financial entities in addressing the primary areas of opportunity demanded by Mexican customers. By measuring these indicators, stakeholders can work to improve financial access and ensure a more inclusive financial ecosystem that benefits all members of society. “I invite you to use and exploit the ENIF survey, which will help to identify the opportunities that exist in financial services and to provide authorities with information to improve regulation in Mexico,” says Ortiz.
Efforts to bridge the gaps in financial inclusion continue to evolve, driven by regulatory reforms and the commitment of financial institutions to cater to the diverse needs of the Mexican population. These ongoing efforts reflect Mexico's dedication to fostering an environment where individuals can maximize their economic potential and actively participate in the economy.
Through regulatory reforms and data-driven initiatives like the ENIF survey, Mexico's financial sector is moving towards a more inclusive future. Mexico aims to empower individuals and create a more inclusive and prosperous society by addressing trust issues and expanding access to financial products and services. Continued collaboration between financial authorities, industry players and stakeholders will be essential in ensuring the success of these endeavors and driving sustainable economic growth.