One out of Two Transfers Are Carried Out Through Electronic Wallets and Mobile Banking

Electronic wallets and mobile banking are the options preferred to carry out transfers according to the Financial Inclusion Report (IFF) for the second half of 2021 published today by the BCRA. For the last twelve months, one out of two bank and non-bank transfers have been made through mobile phones. This way, the change of habits, technology and public policies consolidate financial inclusion.

The report also highlights that transfers ranked first in terms of the growth of the main electronic means of payment in 2021. For the fifth consecutive year, the change rates of electronic transfers exceeded those recorded by debit and credit cards.

As a whole, electronic means of payment (MPE) gained share as the means of payment preferred by households. The growth of transfers due to the use of technology, regulatory incentives by the BCRA, and the pandemic effects increased the share of MPE traded amounts on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In 2021, each adult made, on average, 9.2 monthly MPE transactions, with a growth rate of 43% y.o.y., tripling the rates recorded in the past four years. Other highlights of the report are the following:

The financial system continued facilitating the inclusion of new account holders. In 2021, 1.2 million natural persons joined the system by opening a bank or payment account. This meant that 95.3% of the adult population or 33.3 million people used an account to make payments, send and receive money and channel savings and investments.

The measures adopted by the BCRA to counteract the impact of the pandemic had a countercyclical effect on the stock of financing. The set of credit instruments with favorable financial conditions for natural persons and micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) established by the BCRA throughout 2020 and 2021 posted a positive result in the dynamics of stocks granted by financial institutions during this period.

The percentage of the adult population with financing started to recover as from the second half of 2021. Financial Institutions recorded an increase of 0.3 p.p. driven by public banks that boosted the inclusion of natural persons with financing during the most critical periods.

Financial education is a key investment to safeguard financial health. Education is an end in itself and, in turn, statistics show that financial training is a key element to promote financial inclusion since it improves the quality of life of participants and their communities.

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April 29, 2022

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