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PagBank: The biggest bank you’ve never heard of in Brazil

Alexandre Magnani, PagSeguro_960.jpg
Alexandre Magnani, PagBank

The Brazilian world of digital banks has it all: billionaire unicorns, sub-brands created by the incumbents and completely new disruptors. But one player has been quietly growing under the radar to become the country’s second-largest digital player.

In the second quarter of 2022, one of Brazil’s digital banks added 1.6 million clients to reach 25 million customers, of which 15 million are active monthly users and 60% of those are primary accounts. This makes it the second-largest digital bank in terms of clients, below Nubank’s 62 million and ahead of Banco Inter’s 21 million customers.

The bank in question grew revenues by 62% year on year and deposits by 163% to R$15.5 billion ($2.9 billion) in the second quarter – up from just R$2.7 billion in the same period in 2020.

These stronger revenues together with cheaper funding are now pushing the bank in question close to breakeven according to its chief executive.

But despite the scale and the strong growth, you probably haven’t heard about this bank if you’re based outside Brazil. In fact, it is rarely discussed locally when talk turns to digital banking.

That is because PagBank is quietly growing out of PagSeguro, one of Brazil’s leading payment companies. Chief executive of PagBank and PagSeguro, Alexandre Magnani, was appointed as sole head on October 10, 2022. He was previously co-chief executive with Ricardo Dutra, now chief executive of UOL Group, a leading shareholder in the company.

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Rob Dwyer head.jpg
Latin America editor
Rob Dwyer is Latin America editor. He has been a financial journalist since 1997 and has worked in London, New York and São Paulo, Brazil, where he is now based.