Mexico has 110.5m mobile phone subscriptions, and 72% of the country’s adult population presently uses a smartphone. Mobile internet is most widely used for mobile messengers (59%) and to watch videos on the phone (58%). Here too, 30% of the population has used its phone for mobile banking.
In a country where more than 60% of the population remains unbanked, e-commerce is a fast growing segment of the digital economy, and is expected to witness an average annual growth of 13% between 2018 and 2022, growing by 56% in transaction value terms from US$18bn to US$28bn. The segments that currently witness the most substantial e-commerce spending include travel and accommodation, electronics and physical media, followed by fashion and beauty.
According to the World Bank, 9% of Mexican adults have already used the internet to pay bills in the past year and another 7% to make online purchases, and 32% have either made or received digital payments. This is promising for a country where less than four in ten individuals have an account with a financial institution; and it illustrates the power of smartphone and mobile broadband penetration in facilitating financial and digital inclusion.
Earlier this year, the government announced steps to make financial services more affordable, given the low degree of financial inclusion. Mexico plans to put in place a digital payments system that will allow people to make and receive payments through their mobile phones at no extra charge. The government also aspires to move towards direct deposits or digital wallets for welfare benefit payouts over the next eighteen-months.
We hope that Mexico can truly leverage the power of mobile-driven access to further improve lives across the country.
This excerpt on Mexico is drawn from our latest research titled, “Exploring the Digital Ecosystem in Latin America. The report is available for download here