Panama, a key financial hub in the Americas, has witnessed a growth in fintech development over the past years. Although the ecosystem remains limited compared with regional leaders such as Brazil and Mexico, Panama has nevertheless seen several local players rise to prominence, with segments including digital payments, remittances and neobanking currently standing as the most developed categories.
Of the reported 16 fintech ventures in the country, we’ve made a selection of seven of Panama’s most renowned and fastest-growing fintech companies to watch closely. For this list, we’ve selected startups headquartered in the country, showcasing their latest achievements and growth.
7 Fintech Companies from Panama to Know
Founded in 2018, PayCaddy is a fintech dedicated to revolutionizing the way businesses receive and deliver digital financial services. Through a fintech-as-a-service offering, the startup democratizes access to state-of-the-art fintech so that diverse organizations can launch their financial services in record time.
PayCaddy allows Latin American companies to launch financial products with an API-based platform. Rather than building fintech from scratch, or dealing with a legacy bank, companies can use PayCaddy to create and manage digital wallets instantly, receive payments online or through their app, program intelligent business rules and issue MasterCard cards.
PayCaddy was part of the 2022 Y Combinator startup program. This year, the company was selected to join the Mastercard Start Path Emerging Fintech program, which focuses on scaling innovations impacting commerce and the digital economy.
Fygaro is an e-commerce generator with an integrated billing platform. The company provides an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), offering a comprehensive platform that includes online store management, payment capabilities, invoicing, inventories and logistics.
Fygaro’s business model has proven to be effective and the company now clocks more than 23,000 business customers. The company, which provides its solutions to about 30 countries, reported in 2020 that it had witnessed an incredible 56% growth quarter-over-quarter in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions.
Fygaro was the 2020 winner of the Visa Everywhere Initiate, a global startup engagement program that challenges startups to solve payment challenges of tomorrow, further enhance their own product proposition and provide visionary solutions for Visa and the firm’s network of partners.
Founded in 2009, Punto Pago is a digital ecosystem and super-app platform that allows users to shop, pay for goods and services, and request lines of credit.
The app includes a variety of features including a marketplace with unique offers on more than 120,000 products from over 105 categories, spending tracking and insights, a digital wallet and payment capabilities, as well as accompanying virtual and physical payment cards. Through the app, users can also request credit lines in just five minutes, and send remittances to their loved ones residing overseas.
For businesses, Punto Pago offers online checkout solutions, payment kiosks as well as a comprehensive electronic payment solution which supports the standardization, centralization, administration and management of payment processes for financial institutions and SMEs.
Zinli is a virtual wallet designed to send and receive dollars instantly. The digital wallet comes with accompanying virtual and physical Visa payment cards, allowing users to send money to their families and friends wherever they want and whenever they want without intermediaries and without cumbersome procedures, as well as make purchases and payments online and at local businesses.
One of Zinli’s main feature is cross-border transactions, allowing its customers to send money between one another from and to locations including Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Uruguay.
Founded in 2010, PagueloFacil is a digital wallet that allows users to pay and receive payments digitally. Through the PagueloFacil app, users can open an account in less than 5 minutes, conduct peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions and pay affiliated businesses through QR code. The mobile app also lets them monitor all their payments and collections, connect their bank account, and buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
The startup also offers products and services for businesses, providing them with virtual accounts, payment terminals, financial tools and payment cards.
Founded in 2018, Fortesza is a micro-investment platform that allows users to invest in shares and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on US stock exchanges, as well as in factoring for recognized companies in Panama.
Investing with Fortesza provides access to a broad set of investment tools that can help users achieve financial goals, regardless of what stage of life they are in. Users can start investing from as low as US$5 for shares, and US$50 for company invoice factoring.
Founded in 2015, Venmetro is an online lending platform. Striving to facilitate the process of obtaining attractive loan terms, the startup has developed a technology platform that enables it to reduce costs and provide personalized terms, while offering more attractive rates than other financial institutions. Venmetro collaborates with employers to facilitate the reimbursement process, allowing for monthly payments to be paid back through salary deduction.
Venmetro offers loans from US$500 to US$25,000, and terms ranging from three months to five years. The startup promises an approval time of less than 48 hours.
Those interested in applying for a loan with this company must have a minimum salary of US$500 per month and seven months of working. The average of the loans disbursed stood at US$4,000 in 2018. The startup said at the time that the platform had more than 1,200 active clients and that an average of 800 people visited the company’s Web platform every day.