In Consumer and Retail, Payments

Going beyond the sheer growth in Latin America’s mobile market to specific changes can be helpful for companies weighing opportunities with mobile money, digital wallets, apps, m-commerce and more.

#1 Mexico Leads Mobile Buying in LatAm

Recent Q1 2016 data from Linio looked at the percentages of mobile buyers from different Spanish-speaking countries and found that 35.6% of digital buyers in Mexico used a mobile device. Other Spanish-speaking countries had similar shares of digital buyers who buy via mobile device, including: 

  • Colombia: 33.8% of its digital buyers used a mobile device
  • Chile: 33.5% of its digital buyers used a mobile device
  • Peru: 31.5% of its digital buyers used a mobile device

While Brazil is the leading e-commerce and mobile market in Latin America, the percentage of Brazilians who use mobile devices for online purchases is lower. According to Ebit’s research on Brazilian e-commerce covering the first half of 2016, 18.8% of e-commerce transactions in Brazil were done with mobile devices. This dovetails with data from Google and Forrester that projected that 19% of all 2016 e-commerce purchases in Brazil will be done with mobile devices.

#2 More Than Half of Mobile App Sessions in LatAm Are from Brazil and Mexico

In June 2016 mobile analytics firm Flurry reported that 34% of the app session on its platform came from Brazil, with another 21% from Mexico. Argentina was in third place with just 8% of mobile app sessions. This isn’t too surprising given that Brazil and Mexico have 108 million smartphone users between them—compared to a total of 189.6 million total smartphone users in Latin America for 2016, as reported by eMarketer.

#3 40 Million New Tablet Users in Latin America by 2020

Calculations from eMarketer indicated that in 2016 there are 108.8 million tablet users in Latin America, 18% more than in 2015. But strong growth is projected in coming years: in 2017 there will be 122 million tablet users in Latin America and by 2020 more than 147 million Latin Americans will use tablets.

#4 LatAm Mobile Internet Users to Reach 450 Million in 4 Years

According to The Mobile Economy: Latin America and the Caribbean 2016, a report from the GSMA, Latin America will see a gain of 150 million mobile Internet subscribers between 2016 and 2020 to reach a total of 450 million mobile Internet users by 2020.

#5 Mobile Money Gaining Ground in Latin America

With greater mobile access, mobile money services have grown and the GSMA reports that new regulations in the region have helped facilitate this growth. Currently there are 37 mobile money services in 17 markets in Latin America, with 47% of the mobile money accounts in the region being active. According to the GSMA, overall there are 17.3 million registered mobile money accounts across Latin America.

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