The impressive growth of fintech in Uruguay has seen the South American nation rise a staggering 46 places to burst into the global top 20 in the 2021 edition of the Global Fintech Index.
Having occupied 64th place in the 2020 edition of the Index — only just making the 65-country leaderboard — Uruguay posted the most impressive rise in the latest Index, to claim 17th spot overall.
That has seen Uruguay leapfrog the likes of Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, to become the second-highest ranked Latin American nation on the Index, behind only Brazil.
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The country also now sits above the likes of Denmark, France, Japan, India, and New Zealand, among others — highlighting the impressive development of fintech in Uruguay and the bright future the country’s tech industry has.
According to Sebastián Olivera, the founder and first president of the Uruguayan Fintech Chamber, the country’s strong showing in the latest rankings highlights the potential that smaller economies have to emerge as tech hubs, as well as the strategic location that Uruguay enjoys.
“In the modern world, being a small country is no longer necessarily a disadvantage,” Olivera was reported as saying in the new report. “Any company founded here has one foot in the rest of Latin America and an eye on the rest of the world from the start.”
Fintech in Uruguay making waves in wake of first unicorn
Uruguay’s impressive rise in the Index follows the country’s fintech industry attracting widespread attention among investors, after Montevideo-based electronic payments company dLocal saw its share price jump 48% on first day trading after floating on the Nasdaq in June.
That saw dLocal reach a valuation of almost $9 billion (all figures in USD), becoming Uruguay’s first unicorn in the process. It also generated significant interest in other companies dedicated to fintech in Uruguay.
Some of the most notable providers of fintech in Uruguay other than dLocal include the likes of Bankingly, Inswitch, MiFinanzas, Paganza, and Prometeo.
Among them they offer a diverse range of products, including digital channels and web-based tools for financial institutions, fintech as a service (FaaS), financing for businesses, electronic payments, and open banking.
Fintech in Uruguay thrives in a developed market
The Uruguayan market is one of the most developed in Latin America, offering an ideal base for the growth of fintech in Uruguay. An estimated 60% of the country’s 3.5 million population is considered middle class, while the country ranks third in the region in the UN’s Human Development Index.
The country boasts a long history of economic and political stability, as well as some of the lowest rates of crime in Latin America and the Caribbean. Those factors combine with a secure and highly secretive banking system have seen the country widely referred to as the “Switzerland of South America”
The country is also a major trade hub and founding member of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), a 30-year-old economic integration initiative that also includes Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.
All of this has seen Uruguay emerge as one of the most prosperous nations in Latin America, registering a gross national income (GNI) of $16,230 in 2019 — a figure that places it as a high-income nation according to international standards.
Biz Latin Hub can help you doing business in Uruguay
At Biz Latin Hub, our multilingual team of corporate support specialists is available to help you enter the growing market for fintech in Uruguay, or do any other kind of business. With our complete portfolio of back-office solutions, including company formation, commercial representation, legal, accounting, visa processing, and recruiting services, we can be your single point of contact for entering and doing business in Uruguay, or any of the other 17 markets in Latin America and the Caribbean where we operate.
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