Over the last decade, there has been immense growth in the financial tech sector in Latin America. It is safe to say that Brazil is one of the main culprits of this growth and the rise of Brazil’s fintech activity over the last few years serves as evidence of the advances in the sector. 

It is known that a big chunk of the Latin American population lacks access to a bank account. You must wonder how is it possible to see rising levels of fintech activity? 

To answer this question, we are going to go into detail on this financial tech giant in Brazil, and in Latin America as a whole, Nubank

Nubank was founded in 2013. Their vision was and still is, to give people with no credit history and no access to a bank account a chance to build their credit and have full control of their own money. 

In other words, they want to decentralize access to a credit card for all of those who want to build credit. 

Continue to read this article to find out what Nubank did, how it has aided fintech growth in Brazil and future expansion plans. 

What did Nubank Do Different?

As we stated, Nubank is a key player in the rapid growth of Brazil’s fintech. Brazil is a Latin American country with one of the biggest concentrated banking sectors in the world! 

Nubank had to figure out ways to penetrate this highly concentrated market while staying true to their long-term vision of democratizing credit line access. Next are some things that Nubank did to gain traction in the Brazil fintech market.

The Purple Credit Card

One of Nubank’s major products is their purple credit card. This card is completely free and allows people to slowly build their credit even if they do not have a bank account or credit history or have been blacklisted. 

How does it work? Easy. 

Users begin with a $50 Brazilian Reals credit limit (about $10). If they make their payment on time, the credit begins to increase over the following months. As their credit limit increases and they make more payments, their credit score will increase. 

Now, people do not have to worry about not being able to afford a credit card or have banks deny their applications. Instead, they can join the millions of Brazilians that started to build their credit using the Barney-purple credit card. 

No Marketing! 

Now, you might think that it is crazy for a business to not invest in marketing. This is generally true, but Nubank’s positioning strategy made it work. 

Co-founder and CEO, David Velez, believed that they did not need to spend on unnecessary marketing campaigns. He believed the product and company would speak for themselves. And so they did. 

 All the money that would go into marketing campaigns was instead used to pay better salaries and invest in their customer service. 

Nubank prides itself on its $0 customer acquisition cost. This is a HUGE deal! They have increased their customer base from 12 million in 2019 to 34 million only through word-of-mouth. 

Superior customer service and productive employees satisfied with their wages produced customer superfans. These superfans spread their love for the brand throughout their social circles. This created a great opportunity for exponential growth, while still being able to keep costs low through no marketing spending. 

Marketing is not the only business aspect they save money with. Let’s see what else Nubank does to keep costs low. 

No Physical Locations

Traditional banks with physical branches are present in only about 80% of Brazil’s municipalities. Since Nubank is completely online, they get access to 100% of all Brazil’s municipalities. This allows them to penetrate untouched markets in the Brazil fintech sector. 

Additionally, banks that have physical branches have to spend extra money on the maintenance of the building, wages of bank tellers, among other things. 

With a completely online platform, they are able to cut costs pertaining to a physical branch and invest them in things that relate to their vision, such as maintenance of superior customer service. 

Wait, if they do not have physical locations, how do people get access to their cash in checking and savings accounts? 

Nubank developed a network of ATMs across the country that allows you to access your liquid cash. It pretty much works like in the United States. 

Now that you’ve learned about what Nubank did to become a key disruptor in Brazil’s fintech, continue to read about what is expected from them in the future.

The Future of Brazil Fintech

Nubank is in an outstanding position to continue its growth in Brazil and throughout Latin America. 

Nubank financial positioning to ensure growth in the Brazil fintech sector

Purple card Image source: Nubank

Its strong cash flow position and current level of investment open many opportunities for Nubank. With this investment, Nubank expanded operations to Mexico and Colombia, two other Latin American fintech giants. 

They plan to use the funding for operational expenses in those countries, while they continue to expand their product offerings for the Brazilian population. 

Their priority is to stay true to their vision even when scaling their business. They work hard every day to democratize access to credit lines to the Brazilian population, and now other Latin American populations. 

If this is not a great example of Brazil’s fintech growth, we don’t know what is. 

Ready to Explore the Brazil Market?

If this article caught your attention and you want to learn more about advances in Brazil fintech and other fintech sectors in Latin America, download Brazil’s Business report for this year! 

You can also shoot us an email at hola@colibricontent.com for more information about how we can help your business achieve your expansion goals, whether they are in Brazil or other Latin American countries. 

Categories: Brazil Market

Alejandro Villavicencio

Born and raised in Managua, Nicaragua, Alejandro moved to Florida in 2015 to study Marketing and International Business at the University of Florida. He finds joy in little things in life, but the most important thing for him is spending quality time with his loved ones.


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