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Nubank wins early Pix battle as incumbent registrations falter

Brazil’s fintechs and digital challenger banks are making more ground than traditional firms with the central bank’s new payments system.


Data from the Brazilian central bank shows that the country’s fintechs and new digital banks won the early battle for clients registering with the new, instant and free payments system Pix.

Only 35% of the registrations during the first 10 days were from clients at the country’s incumbent banks. Nubank won a 24% market share alone.

Despite Pix being a free service, analysts say this was an important result for Nubank, as it shows progress in the bank’s greatest challenge: broadening from being a niche credit card player into a full-service platform with active current accounts.

“Pix is the most-watched topic in the banking sector, as market participants are seeing it as a proxy to where clients will establish their primary account, make transactions and maintain a relationship,” says Marcel Campos, equity research analyst at XP Inc.

Research from UBS BB supports this idea. In November, the investment bank surveyed 1,000 Brazilians and found that 7% said their primary account was at Nubank – not far behind the market shares reported for the incumbents: Santander 9%; Bradesco 11%; Banco do Brasil 12%; Itaú 13%.


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