Mobile Financial Services in Latin America and the Caribbean: State of Play, Commercial Models, and Regulatory Approaches

Landscaping the mobile financial services sector in Latin America and the Caribbean
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This paper provides a snapshot of the current state of mobile financial services (MFS) in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). It analyzes the different commercial models for MFS being employed in different market segments in the region and discusses the regulatory evolution that has helped shape the industry. The report also investigates demographics and many other market factors that play a critical role in the development and growth of new and successful commercial models for mobile money. Key highlights include:

  • Nearly two-thirds of markets in LAC have at least one live mobile money service, with a total of 37 mobile money services in 19 markets;
  • Mobile money services in the region account for roughly 14.9 million total registered mobile money accounts and 6.2 million 90-day active mobile money accounts;
  • Mobile operators are taking the lead in launching mobile money services in many of the lowest-income markets in the region, with some seeing high customer uptake;
  • In addition to leveraging agents and ATM networks for cash-in and cash-out, many new mobile money deployments in LAC are tapping into card acceptance infrastructure;
  • Across the entire region, regulatory certainty will be essential for developing a healthy digital financial ecosystem.

About this Publication

By Almazan, M. & Frydrych, J.