This year, with the different phases of open banking implementation in Brazil, one of the big bets in the market is the so-called account aggregator, which allows users to connect different bank accounts on a single platform. The potential of a service like this is something anticipated by the financial assistant app Olivia since 2018, when the fintech firm created its solution for businesses, Bob.
“We have been ‘eating our own dog food’. Since there was no regulated open banking in Brazil, we had to create Bob. The Olivia application feeds on it. We built Bob for [our] own operation, but we saw that there was a demand from other companies so that they could also do the service of account aggregation, among others. Offering the solution to partner clients was a natural process,” explains Lucas Moraes, co-founder at the fintech company, in an interview with LABS.
Bob uses artificial intelligence to offer four types of services to partners: account aggregation, cleansing of inconsistencies in transaction information, categorization of these financial transactions, and extraction of the user’s financial behavior profile.
With five million connected accounts – between the end-users from the app and those from the partner companies – Moraes reveals that the fintech firm, which started operations in Brazil in January 2020, seeks to double this number, reaching ten million accounts by the end of the year. Currently, the share of end-users in Olivia’s strategy is 20% (one million accounts), while 80% are accounts from partners such as Credicard, BV and Íon, Itaú‘s investment app.
The number of partnerships is also growing, as Olivia expects to connect with forty institutions by the end of the year. Today, it has partnerships with twenty-two companies. In the B2B strategy, the main one for the company, Moraes reveals that the focus will be on embedding Olivia’s technology mainly in brokers and digital wallets, such as Uber and iFood – services with greater recurrence.
The fintech, which has already been offering one of the most important services of open banking to its partners, will make account aggregation available for free to companies, with a limit of up to ten thousand customers. To use the other services offered, clients contract in the software as a service model, paying Olivia for each active account. “We understand that [the account aggregator] is a service that will be more commoditized. Whoever can go beyond the connection, I think is going to be the big winner [in the context of open banking]. It’s an opportunity to go beyond financial products,” he summarizes.
Bearing this opportunity in mind, Olivia took the next step to become more competitive in the market. This month, the fintech filed a request with the Brazilian Central Bank to act as a payment initiator – a license that allows a company to order a financial transaction between two parties without taking the user out of its platform. According to Moraes, this makes Olivia able to, in addition to recommending good financial habits, transact for the user (upon their consent).
“In our view, the first wave of fintechs we saw was very experience-based. It’s a credit card with lower fees, much better experience and service. The next wave, because of open banking, is going to be about creating new business models based on data. That’s Olivia’s difference: instead of offering financial products to the user, how can I, based on their data, offer other types of products that go beyond financial services?” says the executive, exemplifying by mentioning streaming subscription management. “Eventually, Olivia itself, as a payment initiator, can cancel a [streaming] subscription that is idle, that the user no longer uses.”
In addition to the goal of reaching ten million accounts connected to Olivia, Moraes says that the plan is also to triple total revenues again in 2021 compared to the result obtained in 2020 – a number that the exec does not reveal. So far, more than a billion transactions have been analyzed using the fintech‘s enterprise platform, Bob.
Mixing financial intelligence, open banking and payment initiation, according to Moraes, had long been seen as the company’s future. “Our vision as a company has always been to be a data and financial intelligence company to help people spend better. Ultimately, what’s at stake is who’s going to be able to master that last-mile with the customer. Eventually, you can connect your different bank accounts on Olivia and initiate payments through there without having to open any of these other apps. That’s the great opportunity there: who is going to be that smart, digital hub for people.”