Financial technology (fintech) startups are mushrooming in Argentina despite the South American country reeling from an economic crisis.
The industry has already employed nearly 15,000 people, with analysts expecting it to create more than 5,000 new positions by the end of this year.
Unlike many other Latin American countries, lack of access to formal banking services is not a cause behind the rise in the number of fintech firms. More than 80% of adults in the country have a bank account.
Employment in the fintech sector has been growing at an annual average of 40% since 2017, according to a report released by the Argentina Chamber of Fintech earlier this month.
Today there are 302 financial technology firms in the country, around 20% of which are less than one year old.
A large majority of them are digital payment providers. More recently, however, there has been a sudden spike in the number of fintech companies providing services related to cryptocurrencies.
Thanks to economic turmoil and the resultant volatility in the currency market, an increasing number of Argentinians are investing in crypto assets.
The fintech boom is helping to generate numerous jobs in areas such as technology, marketing, and customer service, according to the Chamber. Reports suggest the country is discussing how to frame a law to regulate this new sector.
Today fintech firms cannot receive deposits from citizens, nor can they carry out foreign trade and exchange operations.
The fintech industry may grow by leaps and bounds if the government enacts a law to regulate the sector, say analysts.