Crises can divide or unite. In the case of the fintech community in Peru, the Covid-19 pandemic and fallout has helped to bring together entrepreneurs in the local fintech community.
This week, startup founders Maria Laura Cuya and Daniel Bonfiaz wrote letters to announce their decision to join together and create a nationwide association. Daniel Bonifaz published this post to announce the accord, with the hashtag #juntossomosmasfuertes, or #StrongerTogether. The announcement recieved wide-spread praise.
Last year was a big year for the fintechs in Peru. Market-leading local banks and prominent international venture capitalists invested in Peruvian fintech startups.
Even so, it remains an uphill journey for fintech startups. In addition to the normal challenges for startups in Peru, fintech startups operate in the highly regulated and highly concentrated financial sector. Recently, Thiago Paiva compiled an excellent presentation on the financial sector in Latin America that makes comparisons across markets. Peru trails only Brazil, in banking concentration with 5 banks controlling over 87% of the market.
The move by startup founders to build a strong fintech community will put them in a good position to disrupt this paradigm and accelerate the learning curve of digital transformation in financial services.
The new association was a long time coming and in keeping with other countries in the region who have national platforms to promote fintech initiatives. Having a united front to promote beneficial public policy is essential. The fintech community can now move forward together to collaborate with regulators and help startups build the technological tools that improve Peruvians access to financial services.
Congratulations to Maria Laura and Daniel as the rest of the fintech community in Peru for taking this step!