next Bradesco digital bank
Photo: next/Courtesy

To accelerate growth, Brazilian neobank next beefs up marketplace and digital account for young people

After hitting the mark of 10 million users in the last year, it wants to grow in 2022 operating independently from Bradesco, Brazil's fourth-largest bank.

Ler em português

It is not rare to hear in the speech of fintechs the position of revolution or challenge to the status quo — directing their criticism towards traditional banks. Bradesco, one of the most traditional institutions in Brazil, responded by creating next. With a retail and financial services platform strategy — with user experience centralized in an application — the neobank surpassed the 10 million customers in 2021, registering an annual growth of 170%.

In addition to offering products such as credit cards, investments, loans, insurance, and other financial solutions, next developed its own marketplace (nextShop), a section for ​​coupons, and the offer of bank accounts for children and teenagers (nextJoy). This pair of services, by the way, should be fundamental for the bank to grow in the next twelve months.

READ ALSO: SoftBank-backed fintech Creditas reaches $4.8 billion valuation in new mega-round

“We expect to continue to grow at an accelerated pace in 2022, increasingly expanding our portfolio of solutions and addressing an increasingly broad audience – of all ages and regions of the country,” says Jeferson Honorato, the chief digital officer (CDO) of next.

What comes next

The fintech’s plans for 2022 include investing in data intelligence and developing predictive algorithms to deliver a better customer experience, explains Honorato.

“The launch of nextShop, our marketplace, also allows us to explore other areas within our digital platform, with a mix of retail, travel, media, and other solutions,” says the executive.

Jeferson Honorato, the chief digital officer (CDO) of next. Photo: next/Courtesy

The marketplace will also be one of the key products for the company’s expansion. Soon, the platform foresees the entry of new partners. After two months of operation, the service went from 13,000 items on sale to 100,000 and from 8 partner retailers to 22.

READ ALSO: Metaverse: Is there profit beyond the hype? Vitreo launches an investment fund to follow this trend

Created within Bradesco, Brazil’s fourth-largest bank, next was able to use the group’s technological resources to develop its platform from scratch. The executive says that next became an independent company just over a year ago, operating separately from the bank.

“Today, our relationship with Bradesco is the same as the association with an investment company, but the entire technological and innovation legacy of them has allowed us to prosper in the digital market,” explains the director of next.

Investing in young people

If the company leans towards a digital and independent strategy, some decisions still seem to be influenced by a more traditional approach. Cryptocurrency trading, for example, is a trend still observed with some caution by the leaders of next. According to the executive, the platform still awaits an opportune moment for this movement.

READ ALSO: All about MOVii’s next steps, Colombia’s primary bank challenger

On the other hand, the digital bank is paying close attention to another trend: offering financial services to the young public. To win customers earlier and earlier, the company has been investing in sponsoring the gamer scenario, among other actions. Launched in partnership with Disney, nextJoy is an account for children under 18 that also offers financial education content and teaches how to manage money better.

Disney characters are included in these contents, which were developed in partnership with pedagogues and considered different ages. Honorato says that nextJoy works as an account in a separate application and is fully integrated with the next application for parents, who can view and manage the movements. The account must be opened by the adult in charge — next or Bradesco customers.

“nextJoy is a financial education platform with bundled banking services. In 2022, we have great plans for nextJoy; we will continue to expand the portfolio of services, respecting the limitations of a product for minors — ensuring complete safety for parents and greater convenience for their children. After all, by expanding the reach of nextJoy in the market, we are creating a strong bond with these customers, who have great potential also to become next customers in the future,” explains Honorato.