In Payments

Payments professionals operating in Latin America know very well about the power of cash in the region — and our team has also covered this extensively. But that was all before COVID-19. The pandemic has not only hit the region hard in terms of human lives and the economy, it also has changed financial habits.

Part of that change involves breaking the hold of cash in Latin America while bringing millions into the banking system. As part of our work helping brands with thought leadership, we conducted a study and produced a whitepaper for Mastercard covering this COVID-driven phenomenon, and you can download this free whitepaper by clicking on the covers below. The whitepaper is available in either English, Spanish or Portuguese.

After providing the initial context by detailing the state of financial inclusion in Latin America before COVID in markets like Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile and others, the whitepaper looks at how financial aid programs in certain countries helped to drastically change financial inclusion.

It covers Brazil’s coronavoucher program and Merenda em Casa, Colombia’s Ingreso Solidario and Argentina’s Ingreso Familiar de Emergencia. These programs all distributed financial aid to the populace but used digital platforms that brought new users into the banking system while getting them used to making more online purchases rather than relying on cash.

Among the results:

  • A reduction of 40 million in the unbanked populations of Brazil, Colombia and Argentina
  • Brazil reduced its unbanked population the most: by 73%
  • An 11% decrease in cash-only consumers in the 3 countries
  • 32 million people became cash displacers, i.e. fully convinced of digital financial programs and unlikely to revert to a cash-based lifestyle


    The whitepaper not only covers these key data points, it delves into the strategies that financial institutions should employ to make sure that financial inclusion sticks in Latin America.

The acceleration of financial inclusion during the COVID-19 pandemic is one of several whitepapers that AMI has produced to help financial brands with their thought leadership initiatives, combining in-depth research with writing, editing and design to offer a finished product that provides fresh insights for payments professionals focused on Latin America.

Contact us to find out how we can help your company with thought leadership via whitepapers, webinars, infographics, blog content and other tactics.

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