- Panama, Colombia, and Peru are the countries with the highest penetration and use of these electronic tools.
- The study carried out in seven countries in the region determined that older people are the ones who use digital wallets the least.
- The use of e-wallets is determined by socioeconomic levels, age, and place of residence.
The Credicorp Group Financial Inclusion and Digitization Study determined that only 20% of the residents of the Latin American countries selected for the study use electronic means or have an app to carry out financial transactions.
According to research carried out in Panama, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Chile, Bolivia, and Ecuador by the market research firm Ipsos, one in ten people in the region has a digital wallet.
The ranking of the Latin American countries that use virtual wallets the most is led by Panama with a 33% preference for this financial product, followed by Colombia with 24% and Peru with 19%.
On the Flipside
- The country with the lowest propensity to use these electronic devices to carry out digital transactions, store cryptocurrencies, or exchange tokens for goods and services, is Mexico with 3%.
Almost half of the Mexican population is not banked, according to a study published in May by The Cocktail Analysis agency, specialized in digital transformation. That explains the low number of people using digital wallets in that country, despite being one of the main recipients of remittances and bank transfers.
"In Latin America there is a significant difference in terms of the possession of mobile wallets between those who are in the high (15%) and medium (14%) socioeconomic levels, and those who are in the low level (9%)", the analysis points out.
Another finding of the study is that no significant gender differences were found in terms of financial inclusion and use of digital wallets.
Young People Use Digital Tools More
Regarding digital inclusion, barely 20% of the people surveyed said they carried out financial transactions through digital means. One of the main barriers to financial inclusion in general in the region is low income and lack of user interest.
However, there is a growing number of people with smartphones and Internet access who are increasingly using electronic devices to carry out financial transactions. The propensity to use digital wallets increased during the pandemic in Latin America, especially in countries like Chile and Colombia with better internet services.
Another conclusion of the study is that people over the age of 60 are less likely to use digital wallets. Only 2% of those interviewed said they use them with some frequency.
On the other hand, young people between 18 and 25 years old, as well as people between 26 and 42 years old (15%) are the ones that use these financial services the most, even more than those belonging to the age group located in the range of 43 to 59 years.
Likewise, people who live in urban areas (13%) have a higher level of access to digital products and financial inclusion than those who live in rural areas (6%), so much so that both dependent workers (15%) and independent workers (12%) in Latin America use more e-wallets.
Why You Should Care
- Despite the still low number of digital wallets, Latin America is one of the regions in the world that is using cryptocurrencies the most in daily business activities, according to the Statista Global Consumer Survey.