The digital transformation of large retailers and fintechs targets one in three Brazilians

The country has 45 million people that do not have a bank account, and this group represents a market of BRL 800 billion

cash coming out of an ATm machine
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  • One in every three Brazilians don’t have access to a bank account;
  • These people move BRL 800 billion per year, according to Instituto Locomotiva;
  • It is this public that fintechs and large retailers are targeting.

According to the data gathered by Instituto Locomotiva, 45 million people do not have access or have not used a bank account in the last six months–in other words, one in every three Brazilians.

It is precisely this public that fintechs, with a digital bank façade, or not, and large retailers, who are putting the pedal to the metal to see who wins the race to the super app, are targeting. A market that, according to the survey, moves BRL 800 billion per year.

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This group of unbanked Brazilians comes from low income thresholds–86% are concentrated in income ranges of C, D, and E–and engage in informal labor, thus preferring to receive their salaries in cash. To navigate using only when purchasing goods and services, these people have the habit of borrowing the credit card of family members and friends.

The director of the institute, Renato Meirelles, said to the Agência Brazil that the survey shows that banks are not in contact with that segment of the population, which is in large part composed of self-employed and small entrepreneurs that should be more integrated in the formal economy of the country.

Meirelles has a deep knowledge of low-income classes in the country, having been the president and founder of Data Favela and of Data Popular–both institutes have provided data on consumption habits of low-income classes to large Brazilian enterprises for decades.

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In accordance with the data gathered in the survey, 86% of the unbanked are concentrated in the economic classes C, D, and E; and 59% are women. The survey also indicated that seven out of ten–that is, 69% of the total surveyed–were of African descent. Of the total number of unbanked Brazilians, 62% live in the interior of the country and almost four out every ten live in the Northeast (39%). 

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