With 3.7 million customers, Banco Inter launches super app

And announces the purchase of 70% of an asset manager for BRL 49 million to strengthen its investment operation. Ali Express and Nike are among the partners of the new app

Banco Inter's headquarters in Brazil
Banco Inter's headquarters, in the city of Belo Horizonte. Photo: Courtesy

Banco Inter announced at noon this Thursday (7) the launch of its super app, a project that the LABS detailed in August when we talked about one of the company’s major goals: to be the sixth largest bank in the country in number customers.

The super app, which is fintech’s bet to attract more customers and participate more intensively in their daily journey, was accompanied by the release of the third quarter results. Banco Inter ended September with net income of BRL 56.8 million in the year, a growth of 19.6% over the same period last year.

The month of September was also important to accelerate the climb in the number of customers. There were 12 thousand new accounts per business day in the month. Today, Banco Inter has 3.7 million customers. In a conference call with analysts, Banco Inter’s CEO João Vitor Menin said Banco Inter could reach 8 million customers by 2020.

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To be the sixth largest in Brazil, Banco Inter must surpass PAN, SicrediOmni, BMG and Banrisul, which have 4.32 million, 4.37 million, 4.56 million, also 4.56 million and 4.87 million customers, respectively, according to Brazil’s Central Bank (BCB) data. Not to mention Nubankwhich closed September with more than 15 million customers, but has not yet acted as a financial institution despite having been authorized to do so since the end of 2018.

These BCB numbers, however, consider not only who has a checking account, but who has credit contracted with these institutions. In Banrisul’s case, there would be about 2.7 million checking account holders.

“What you will see here, our super app, is just the beginning of the project.” That’s how Banco Inter’s CEO began his presentation on Wednesday (7), direct from the new headquarters to where the company will move from December.

The app debuts with a wide range of partner products and services, and over 60 cashback store options.B y the end of November, all Banco Inter customers will be using the new app. “In Black Friday week we will pay double the cashback,” Menin said.

Already confirmed partners include American, Renner, Marisa, Ali Express, Submarine, Netshoes, Nike, Olympikus, Natura, Jequiti, Carrefour, Consul, Eletrolux, HP, Nextel, Asus, Drogasil and Sem Parar.

“Today we are launching our super app, but what’s behind it? To get that super app scalability (still 2018) we had to make our migration to the cloud, had to do our IPO to bring more resources to invest and reach 1 million customers, “recalled Menin.

To run the marketplace, Banco Inter hired Rodrigo Gouveia, former Facebook Global Client Partner for Latin America. In an interview for LABS in August, the executive said Banco Inter’s race to be a super app has three major points:

  • Continued focus on the best possible user experience, with the one-stop shop logic as a mantra for the marketplace
  • a reward policy that goes beyond the typical fintechs zero fare, with solutions like cash back and other no-financial advantages offered by strategic partners.
  • and a heavy bet on business intelligence in building a predictive model capable of giving the customers what they need before they even realize it, based on their behavior using mobile applications.

The idea is to make the app grow slowly, without losing concern for the user experience or transparency. In the coming months, Gouveia said that the app will gain new services such as ticket purchase areas and delivery partners.

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Also on Wednesday (7), Banco Inter announced the signing of an agreement for the acquisition of 70% of asset manager DLM Invista for BRL 49 million. With BRL 4.5 billion under its umbrella, the manager has been in the market for 15 years and will be an important reinforcement for Banco Inter’s progress as an asset and investment manager.

More than 40 million Brazilians in the sights of Banco Inter

The Brazilian fintech was created 25 years ago by the Menin family, the same that founded the MRV construction company, under the name of Intermedium. The new brand came in 2017 after a deep process of digital transformation. A year later, it was the first Brazilian fintech to have shares listed on the country’s stock exchange, the B3.

Since then, Banco Inter has been looking at both bank customers, who are tired of the lack of transparency and high fees charged by traditional financial institutions, as well as the unbanked customers in Brazil.

In late July, the fintech raised BRL 1.25 billion (more than $ 300 million) in a share offering that was mostly won by SoftBank through a Miami-based investment manager called LA BI Holdco LLC. The Japanese fund took 8.1% of Banco Inter after disbursing BRL 760 million for 19 million units (groups of shares).

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