Overview of Banking in Bolivia

Bolivia is among the quickest rising economies in Latin America, and sensible and forward-looking international traders and firms are giving the land-locked nation a better look when it comes to doing enterprise there. Bolivia outperformed its neighbors in 2022, seeing GDP growth of 3.9 percent, and is forecasted to grow by 4.8 percent in 2023. The circulation of FDI into the country is also on the rise; all because of this we will anticipate an inflow of international companies incorporating within the nation, and people newcomers will set their sights on banking in Bolivia. 

But when there’s one factor that characterizes banking in Bolivia, it’s state intervention and taxes, taxes, taxes. Tax on the shopping for and promoting of the US greenback, taxes on a financial institution’s earnings, and taxes on any cash leaving the nation. There’s even a tax on transfers between one Bolivian bank to another. The purpose of all this, we’re assured, is to stimulate financial development.

If there’s one silver lining to the excessive diploma of state intervention into the Bolivian banking system, it’s that these tax burdens are incurred virtually completely by the banks themselves. By regulation, the prices can’t be handed onto the shopper by way of excessive rates of interest or charges. Rates of interest are set by the state-run monetary establishment known as the Productive Growth Financial institution (BDP), and is used to supply low-rate loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

For international entities, the steps to open a company checking account in Bolivia are comparatively straight ahead. 

Open a corporate bank account for banking in Bolivia, infographic by biz latin hub
In the event you’re pondering of banking in Bolivia, it’s important to know how one can open a company checking account within the nation

Banking in Bolivia: Checklist of economic banks within the nation

Bolivia’s banking system is made up of the Central Financial institution, the state-run BDP, and 13 privately-owned business banks, the place foreigners can open company financial institution accounts. The complete list is as follows:

  • Banco Bisa
  • Banco de Crédito (BCP)
  • Banco Económico
  • Banco Fassil
  • Banco Fie
  • Banco Fortaleza
  • Banco Ganadero
  • Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz
  • Banco de la Nación Argentina
  • Banco Nacional de Bolivia (BNB)
  • Banco Prodem
  • BancoSol Financial institution 
  • Banco Unión

SEE ALSO: Professionals Boosting Expertise and Innovation in Bolivia

When fascinated by improvements within the monetary sector and/or banking in Bolivia, one might discover that they’re probably not modern in any respect – within the developed world, that’s. However issues like “neobank” fintech startups, microcredit loans given to lower-income Bolivians, and what’s generally known as the digital transformation are certainly modern for Bolivia – a late adopter in lots of respects.

Banking in Bolivia: A few of the newest improvements

  • Small mortgage functions (microfinance) made on-line
  • Smartphone-based cell pockets banking/purchases
  • ‘Gamification’ to attract in new adopters
  • Neobank startups providing 100% on-line providers
  • Conventional banks shifting slowly towards digital transformation

High-5 improvements for banking in Bolivia

The next improvements in banking have made making transactions and requesting small enterprise capital rather more handy for Bolivians than they’re in conventional banks.

1. Microfinance mortgage functions made on-line

If there’s innovation within the Bolivian banking business, it’s in offering microfinance to small companies – however digitally. Banks have partnered with the non-profit groups to supply low-interest loans to small enterprise house owners and clients – as long as they’ve a cell gadget.

2. Smartphone-based cell pockets banking/purchases 

The recognition of mobile-based apps has exploded, and is altering the best way banking is completed in Bolivia. The so-called cell wallets they supply aren’t tied to the extra conventional brick-and-mortar banks, however by way of digital startups within the nation. It permits customers to ship and obtain funds, pay payments and switch cash all from a person’s smartphone.

3. ‘Gamification’ scheme to draw new adopters

The aforementioned financial institution that gives microfinancing to small companies additionally employs a gamification technique to draw new customers to the app and maintain present customers loyal. Users can earn points and play mini-games inside the app for rewards and an opportunity to win prizes. With this technique, BancoSol financial institution was in a position to get 40 % of its account holders to make the digital transformation. 

4. The rise of ‘neobanks’ providing 100% on-line providers

So-called ‘neobanks’ have been a rising pattern in Bolivia and elsewhere within the area. Why have Bolivians basically, and Latin Individuals particularly, been so receptive to the providers provided by neobanks and different fintechs? In a phrase, inclusivity. Individuals with decrease incomes have been ignored or uncared for by the standard banks, which means that fifty % of Bolivians don’t have entry to a conventional checking account. The rise of neobanks represents a sea-change to banking in Bolivia, permitting individuals to bypass conventional banks so as to take part within the monetary system.

legal structures in bolivia infographic by biz latin hub for an article on banking in bolivia
Banking in Bolivia is supported by the nation’s authorized buildings

5. Conventional banks are late to digital transformation

As is generally the case, banks are reluctant to maneuver from their dominant place. Whereas on-line banking has been round for many years, banks in Bolivia have solely lately realized that they too should succumb to the grand digital transformation if they’re to remain related. Most conventional brick-and-mortar banks now have on-line platforms the place Bolivian account holders could make transactions, open new accounts or apply for debit/bank cards. 

Biz Latin Hub may also help you with banking in Bolivia

At Biz Latin Hub, we offer built-in market entry and back-office providers all through Latin America and the Caribbean, with places of work in Bogota and Cartagena, in addition to over a dozen different main cities within the area. We even have trusted companions in lots of different markets.

Our unmatched attain means we’re ideally positioned to help multi-jurisdiction market entries and cross border operations.

In addition to data about banking in Bolivia, our portfolio of providers consists of hiring & PEO accounting & taxation, firm formation, checking account opening, and company authorized providers.

Contact us immediately to seek out out extra about how we will help you to find prime expertise, or in any other case do enterprise in Latin America and the Caribbean.

If this text on banking in Bolivia was of curiosity to you, take a look at the remainder of our protection of the area. Or examine our staff and knowledgeable authors. 

A BLH infogrpahic showing key services offered by the company
Key providers provided by Biz Latin Hub