The banking sector is going through a complete worldwide reshaping. According to McKinsey, Latin America stands out as the region that had the fastest growth in the payments sector in 2019.
Latin America is seeing a fintech boom, launching unicorns in the financial sector and attracting record amounts of VC funds.
With fintechs offering strong competition that significantly shortens banking process activities and reduces the taxation onus on customers, the digital transformation in the traditional banking sector goes beyond tech modernization: it is redesigning their business model.
Latin America: A Deep Pool of Opportunity
According to McKinsey’s research, in Latin America, only 30% of the population uses a banking account. In comparison, 91% of the population has a bank account in the US.
This accessibility problem represents an opportunity of US$34 billion to the banking and payments sectors says Visual Capitalist. This promising market share is responsible for bringing more than US$2.1 billion in investments to the region in 2019 (CB Insights).
But both for fintechs and banks, attending to this demand is no easy task. It requires hiring talented professionals to use technology to drive innovation in a transformative and business-focused way.
Digital Transformation is Go
Fintechs are reinventing banking services all over the world. In Latin America, these companies have found a huge potential market in the unbanked population, especially in Mexico, Paraguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Haiti.
With a business model based on technology and personalization, fintechs offer banking services in a more agile and cheaper way than the traditional institutions. They make it easier for people to create a bank account, and increase the accessibility of banking to previously unbanked people.
While fintechs were born through innovation, traditional banks, on the other hand, are going through the digital transformation process to adapt and optimize the service they provide while improving efficiency.
The digital transformation process is a challenge for digital professionals when it comes to integrating new technologies and automating processes. However, it involves rethinking the business model and opening space for creativity and innovation.
The Pandemic Effect
Latin America has one of the highest rates of mobile use for any region of the world. With the pandemic restricting physical contact, millions of Latin Americans were forced to use e-commerce and online payment methods for the first time, driving growth in these sectors.
The health crisis also created a huge demand on financial solutions, as banks were forced to close branches and the use of cash was curtailed in favor of digital and online banking processes. This change increased the demand on bank accounts that could be created easily and quickly. Parallel to this, smartphone usage grew to record numbers in the region. As the majority of people did not have access to traditional bank accounts, the fintechs absorbed this demand and, as a consequence, saw huge growth.
Read also: Latin America: Before and After Pandemic
High Demand for Tech Professionals
Both traditional banks and fintechs are in need of professionals that are able to promote digital transformation in the financial sector.
As they have such a fundamental role in the sector reinvention and in solving the bank access problem, these professionals are in high demand and find no issues to find exciting and well-paid career opportunities.
The most in demand roles right now according in Latin America, according to The Bridge are:
- Business Hackers and/or Managers
- Front-End, Back-End and Full-Stack Developers
- UX/UI Designers
- Agile Coaches
- Marketing Specialists
Finding the right professionals to conduct digital transformation during this period of peak demand is not an easy task. A drastic global lack of tech talent is driving recruitment competition through the roof, and salaries are spiking across the region, including in Colombia, Chile and Mexico.
Tech talent has never had it better. And as fintech grows further, even greater job opportunities will follow.
Main Image: Tech in Asia