Banks’ digital channels in Latin America are getting a sharp boost from coronavirus social distancing. But it remains unsure whether this can become a long-term trend
Digital banking in Latin America is undergoing fast transformation as social distancing measures increase the demand for remote, digital services. Governments are providing emergency payments to workers and families through digital channels, which has been giving an additional boost to fintech measures – such as digital transfers and payments. “The issue of financial inclusion is a joint effort [between banks, government and fintech], but fintech companies are becoming the originators of new user experiences,” says Anabel Pérez, president and CEO of fintech enabler NovoPayment. “It’s like hurricane season,” she adds when asked about the long term shift to digital. “Before, in the United States we were not prepared, but then, once the problem was over, prevention codes were created. A set of regulations is going to come so that digital payments are more widely adopted, like in China and India.” Much remains to be seen on how this transition progresses, given the several variables at play.