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Uruguay’s Technology Sector and the Future of Fintech in Latin America
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The explosion of fintech (financial technology) in Latin America is a rare positive economic story amid the pandemic’s devastation. In a region that has clung to cash, prolonged social distancing measures and emergency social welfare programs pushed the digitalization of Latin America’s financial sector. During the pandemic, over 40 million Latin Americans gained access to banking services and millions more adopted fintech tools. This transformation has given rural and low-income individuals the possibility of personal and business loans, access to e-commerce, and expanded markets for small- and medium-sized businesses. It has also created opportunities for Latin American technology companies. Today, the region is home to more than 1,000 fintech enterprises, the majority in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia, including household names such as Nubank and Rappi.
Evidence of the rise of Latin American fintech is perhaps most visible in Uruguay, where dLocal, a cross-border payment services company and the country’s first technology unicorn, is now valued at more than $15 billion. Uruguay, a regional leader in nurturing technology start-ups, is home to 63 fintech enterprises. Drawn by favorable banking regulations, a skilled workforce and a variety of incentives, technology companies, including in fintech, have thrived in Uruguay, known as the “Silicon Valley of South America.”
What is the future of fintech in Latin America? How will expanding access to financial services help the region recover from the pandemic? How can governments replicate Uruguay’s success attracting talent and investment to its technology sector? Please join the Latin American Program on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, from 10:00 am-11:30 am, to discuss lessons from Uruguay’s technology sector and the implications for fintech in Latin America.
This event is part of our “Going Digital” series, co-sponsored by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI).
Latin American Program
The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action. Read more
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