Digital wallets are booming in Argentina, and the banks, fintechs and big techs behind them are looking at how they can get a competitive edge over their peers.
With over 30 digital wallets in the market, Argentina is one of the Latin American countries that has most taken up this technology in the past year. Banks, fintechs and big techs are getting in on the opportunity, with some new entrants quickly gaining strong market share amid the dynamics of the pandemic. Still, cash, regulations and competition pose hurdles for individual players. “In Argentina, the explosion of wallets is tremendous, the metrics are fantastic, but there is still a long way to go,” explains Javier Buitrago, who teaches graduate-level programs on digital payments and fintech in Buenos Aires. “You can see the glass half full or half empty, but there is a huge opportunity with the 30-plus wallets that exist today.” Roberto Dumerauf, CEO of CAME Pagos, credits part of the success of wallets in his country to the role they play in democratizing digital payments, such as for small businesses, who face high transaction costs for point-of-sale (POS) terminals, as well as limited access to debit or credit cards. “We come to help you with your business, not to take your business. We are not going to try to take the small profit margin that those businesses have, but to help them reach more people,” he explains.