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Financial products: Definitions and trends for Latin America

Published on Jun 12, 2023.

reading time15 minutes reading

The time where all financial movements for a company or person only went through a traditional checking account is something of the past—also because the current scenario is marked by innovating and renovating the way people and businesses relate to finance. Not surprisingly, the market is going through a moment of great growth in financial product offerings.

The pandemic we faced in the past few years has brought uncertainties, difficulties and new habits for consumers and businesses: the shift to online retail and migration to e-commerce needed to occur rapidly, brands of all sizes had to rush to take new means of payment, and a lot of families struggled to stay afloat and had to turn to loans or renegotiate their debt.

The past few years have also brought an evolved Open Banking—a model that has “opened” the banking system and enabled user information to be shared between different institutions—and Open Finance—a system enabling financial institutions to share data on products and services, such as insurance plans and investments.

We also witnessed a consolidated Embedded Finance <span style="color:#fff">now</span>– phenomenon that enables financial services to be incorporated by companies that don’t directly operate in the financial industry and is driven by Banking as a Service.

That combination of factors—the demand as a result of the pandemic, an open financial system and emerging players in the banking industry—has enabled financial products to grow and develop.

 

What are financial products?

 

Generally speaking, financial products are resources, services, toolkits or processes enabling and facilitating financial transactions by individuals and companies.

Those products can also be offered by traditional banks, financial institutions, fintechand other companies incorporating and providing financial services, such as Retailers.

However, before we discuss some of the main financial products those players can offer, it is important to address the importance of financial products in the Latin American context.

 

Financial products and the banking movement in Latin America

 

The reason for that is quite simple: the banking movement in Latin America, which historically has always faced a variety of bottlenecks, has shown continuous growth in the past few years. A recent study conducted by the Central Bank showed that the banking movement has advanced the most in the region since 2017. The numbers are really impressive: by the end of 2021, approximately 73% of the Latin American population had at least one bank account, whether traditionally or digitally.

That’s why businesses offering financial products for companies and individuals in that scenario contribute to:

  • Driving the national and regional economy through services and technologiesexclusively designed for companies of all industries and niches;
  • Promoting financial health for the population and companies by offering less invasive credit solutions and more financial services that don’t require the same bureaucracy as traditional banks;
  • Strengthening the banking movement in the region as a whole, opening the financial industry to people and small businesses that didn’t find any investment or support from traditional financial institutionat that point and, therefore, were at the margins of the industry.

 

Banner advertising the E-book 7 Priorities for Financial Inclusion in Latin America
Banner advertising the E-book 7 Priorities for Financial Inclusion in Latin America
Banner promoting the e-book 7 Priorities for Financial Inclusion in Latin America

What are the main financial products currently offered?

 

As we’ve mentioned, financial products can be offered for individuals as well as companies, which means that, although there are specific products for each of them, there are also some products they have in common.

 

Financial products offered for individuals and companies

 

Checking account

Possibly one of the most traditional financial products, a checking account is usually the first service to be contracted by an individual or company. That account enables easy access to the money available there and can be used as a starting point for a number of financial transactions, such as withdrawals, deposits and wire transfers.

 

Check issuing and processing

Checks may seem like a something of the past for a lot of people, especially after the revolution of instant payments such as Pix in Brazil and CoDi in Mexico, but they still hold their importance for some portions of the population. A study conducted by Febraban in 2022 showed that, although the use of checks has consistently decreased throughout the years, it is still responsible for moving R$ 103.9 million in Brazil.

 

Deposits and wire transfers

Deposits and wire transfers are both well consolidated financial transactions. They involve depositing or transferring an amount to a first or third-party account. Similar to checks, the use of deposits and wire transfers also decreased, especially because the money transactioned is not automatically available for the account, as it is for instant payments.

 

Digital account

Basically a “cover girl” for the financial revolution driven by fintechs, neobanksand more non-traditional banking players, a digital accountsis one of the most accessible and popular financial products in Latin America.

It can be offered by financial institutions as well as retail companies looking to improve their customer loyalty and provide an outstanding shopping experience. Also, a customer can open a digital account XNUMX% online without major bureaucracies and often without the need to verify their credit score.

 

Read also | Open X: What’s next after Open Finance?

 

Debit and credit card

It is absolutely impossible to talk about financial products without mentioning debit and credit cards—solutions that expand the purchasing power for individuals and enable business spendings without compromising cash flow.

 

Overdraft

Overdraft is a type of pre-approved loan offered by banks. A specific amount of money is set according to the customer’s credit profile, and the interest rates applied are usually high.

 

Financing plans and loans

As extremely important financial products for individuals and companies, financing plans and loans serve different purposes, but they usually enable access to a higher amount of money. As the term itself says, financing plans enable the purchase of an asset; loans enable immediate access to the money required and have to be settled later.

 

CDB

Also known as Certificate of Bank Deposit, CDB is a financial product offered as an investment. Apart from having daily profitability ratios, low risk and several liquidity choices, CDB also relies on a low initial application and simple withdrawal procedures.

 

International remittance

Transferring money abroad has become more popular and streamlined, for individuals as well as companies. That’s why it is also important to mention international remittance as a financial product.

Infographic International Remittances Trends and Opportunities

 

Financial products for individuals

 

Digital wallet

A digital ID, a digital bank and… digital wallet! That wallet is basically a smartphone app where customers can enter and store their payment information, such as debit and credit cards.

 

Savings account

As a well consolidated financial product, a savings account is also one of the most traditional types of investment. A lot of accounts already have a savings account associated by default, and customers can make applications via wire transfer.

 

Letter of credit/pre-purchase financing pool

A pre-purchase financing pool is a financial product that is quite popular among Brazilians, especially for those looking to purchase a high value asset, such as a vehicle or real estate. In turn, a letter of credit is a title received by the end of a customer’s period of contribution to a pool.

 

Read also | Credit industry in Latin America: 4 opportunities for driving the industry

 

Debenture

A debenture is a title issued by a public company. Registered at the Securities and Exchange Commission of Brazil (CVM), a debenture is an interesting financial product for those seeking a fixed income investment.

 

Investment fund

As a financial application showing great gain potential and high risk, an investment fund is a “collective” financial product, since a number of people invest different amounts of money in it. The total sum of those applications is invested by a qualified professional.

 

Salary loan program

Similar to a regular loan, a salary loan program makes the money required immediately available, but it is not reviewed by an evaluator or credit team. After the amount is available, its value is directly deducted from the employee’s salary.

 

Financial products for companies

 

Payment split

Especially recommended for digital marketplace platforms, a split payment automatically splits a transaction value among the players involved. For instance: in a purchase made at a marketplace, there might be items sold by different sellers in the same customer order. By using a payment split, each seller automatically receives their amount due from it.

 

Means of payment

A company marketing assets and services must consider their means of payment for capturing payments from customers.

Beyond payments in cash, there is a wide variety of financial products that can be useful for those companies, including:

  • Invoice generation;
  • Recurring payment activation (ideal for companies offering subscriptions products);
  • Receiving from in-person sales, whether on debit or credit;
  • Automatic debit feature for bill payment.

 

Card issuing

A white-label card can be a powerful ally for companies from different industries that are looking to offer their own credit card, tailored with their look and feel. That type of resource helps retain new sources of revenue for the business thanks to interests and fees.

 

Learn more about Credit Card as a Service in our presentation at Febraban Tech:

 

Anticipation of receivables

As a good financial product for companies looking to receive sales amounts earlier than originally scheduled, the anticipation of receivables basically involves anticipating the receiving of some values before their original date. It can be used to payments in installments, deposits and financing plans.

 

Payment account

A payment account is another product that is quite interesting for companies. Differently from a checking account, that type of account doesn’t allow loan, financing and credit operations, but can be used for receiving those operations. It eliminates the default risk and enables a business to work with a wider variety of customers.

 

Read also | BIN Sponsor Partner: What is it, and how does it enable new players in the means of payment industry?

 

Financial products: Trends and news in Latin America

 

Apart from all those most traditional—or at least most popular—financial products, it is also essential to address the trends in that sense in Latin America, since there’s still a lot of room for innovating in the industry.

 

New credit models

 

Many of the financial products we’ve discussed in this article bring a great advantage: democratizing access to credit.

Within that scenario, Buy Now, Pay Later - or simply BNPL—is a new credit model gaining momentum. With that solution, a consumer is able to purchase a product by paying only a portion of its total value. The remaining amount is paid in a specific date, which is set at the moment of purchase.

That model is particularly popular among younger generations, especially millennials. Also, recent studies showed that around 60% of the consumers in the US have used that financial product in their purchases.

Infographic simplifying shopping with Buy Now Pay Later template
Infographic simplifying shopping with Buy Now Pay Later template
Infographic making buyer easier Buy Now Pay Later

 

Tokenization

 

Tokenizing financial assets has gained momentum in discussions in the banking industry, and a lot of players looking to work with DeFi (Decentralized Finance) and blockchain are keeping an eye on that opportunity.

Generally speaking, tokenization involves creating a digital representation for an asset, setting a specific language for a blockchain. It allows the asset to be marketed and negotiated within the blockchain, while also determining how it will be transacted within it.

A recent study commissioned by Data Bridge Market Researchestimates that tokenization in South America should grow considerably in the next six years. So it’s definitely a trend worth keeping a close eye on.

Global tokenization market chart to 2029

 

Niche products

 

2022 was an excellent year for fintechs, which had been consolidating a stronger presence in the banking and payment industry in Latin America. It’s important to remember that the region already had at least 14 unicorns in the financial universe in the previous year:

Chart of fintechs and unicorn startups in Latin countries
Chart of fintechs and unicorn startups in Latin countries
Graph of unicorn fintechs and startups in Latin countries

Also, a recent study conducted by Febraban showed that the trust Brazilians have in fintechs reached 57%, an excellent mark.

It all enables niche fintechsto grow, by offering financial products tailored either for companies in a specific niche or a target audience with a profile in common, such as gamers, teenagers, small businesses, cosmetic resellers, cleaners and so on.

The Fintech as a Service phenomenon plays a significant role in that sense, since it enables a company to become a fintech and start offering those solutions and target specific audiences.

 

How can you offer financial products with Dock?

 

Dock can help your company become a player in the banking industry by offering different financial products for companies or individuals.

By leveraging our Banking as a Servicesolution, you’ll be able to offer products such as bill payment, wire transfers, instant payments, pay slip generation, loans, and more.

Also, we offer Acquiring, Cards & Credit e Fraud Preventionsolutions, so that our clients can rely on antifraud systems, customer Digital onboardingof clients, API gateways with public documentation, regulatory and accounting support and financial reconciliation tools.

We’ve recently launched Dock One, a single banking and payment platform enabling you to scale operations in credit and payment in a streamlined manner anywhere in the world.

Learn more about Dock One:

 

Financial products for companies: Takeaways from this article

 

  • A combination of factors has enabled new financial products to emerge in the banking and payment industry.
  • Financial products are resources, services, toolkits or processes enabling and facilitating financial transactions for individuals and companies.
  • Those solutions help drive the economy, promote financial health and strengthen the banking movement for the Latin American population.
  • Some of the main trends in financial products include new credit models (such as Buy Now Pay Later), tokenization and niche products.

 

Related articles:

 

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