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BANKING

Nubank’s credit card business surges in Brazil

Brazil’s largest fintech has 5% market share and now poses strategic challenge to market leaders.

The logo of Nubank, a Brazilian FinTech startup, is pictured at the bank's headquarters in Sao Paulo

The announcement in September of Nubank’s acquisition of Easynvest made headlines beyond the borders of its Brazilian home market – marking another significant extension of its digital financial services. However, the news overshadowed the bank’s financial results for the first half of 2020, released at the end of August, which are newsworthy on a standalone basis.

The bank added six million customers in the first six months of this year. And despite the impact of the pandemic, Nubank increased the volume of its credit card business – still its major area of operation – by 54% when compared to the first half of 2019. This rapid growth compares with a 6% year-on-year contraction of Brazil’s top three credit card institutions (Itaú and Santander both fell 6% and Bradesco’s credit card operation contracted by 4%).

This drove an 8bp increase in Nubank’s credit card market share, taking the bank to 5.1%. Overall, the bank’s total revenues (net interest income and fees) rose 85% and the bank cut its net losses by 32% to R$95 million.

Nubank also continued to make advances in its loan portfolio – up 45% in the year, to R$12.5