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FINTECH

Can credit pop Brazil’s fintechs?

As the number of financial technology startups in Brazil balloons, there is a growing sense that the pin to puncture their growth is one critical area of operation: credit. Full service in the digital age is a serious, long-term challenge for new entrants and traditional players.

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The rapid growth in Brazilian fintechs has created a heated debate about their likely impact on incumbent banks.

After the big bang of startups created by financial digitalization, Brazil’s central bank says the number of fintechs has already exceeded 600.

But such rapid growth is unsustainable, even for a banking market like Brazil’s, which has both scale and large profit margins.

Many analysts expect that this rapid process of digitalization will shake out in the next five to 10 years. In other words, by 2025, it should be clear who the winners of this intense phase of banking competition are or will be.

There may not be that many of them.

Some analysts expect the behavioural aspects of mobile phone-based consumerism will lead to the domination of a few super apps – platforms that try to capture as much as possible of their clients’ online activity.

Mauricio Minas, the member of Bradesco’s board responsible for the bank’s digital operations and who oversees Bradesco’s new digital bank Next, subscribes to this perspective.