Business

Santander Bank's fintech is betting on Latin America to grow in the microfinance market

The Brazilian fintech Super Digital is focusing its efforts to attract the C and D classes

Santander Bank's fintech is betting on Latin America
Santander Bank's fintech is betting on Latin America. Photo: ShutterStock

In 2013, the neobank that became a real symbol of the banking disruption in Latin America was first launched. With the mission of reducing bureaucracy and charging fewer taxes, Nubank came up with a young, informal, and cool speech, in other words, the Brazilian digital bank had the perfect formula to reach the millennials. And they did it.

Not by surprise, the decacorn announced yesterday (20) that the company exceeded the 20 million clients mark. All this success is creating a wave of digital banks following the same path and similar strategies to catch the early adopter’s attention, but this isn’t the only way to build a successful brand in the Latin American market. Superdigital, the fintech created by Santander Bank in Brazil, is here to prove it. 

The main goal of building a digital bank inside a traditional banking group, such as Santander, was to attract another kind of target that enterprise companies cannot reach: the C and D classes. According to information from the Brazilian media outlet Seu Dinheiro.

Taking the opposite way from other fintechs and neobanks in Latin America, Superdigital is not entering the fight for the millennials, it is focusing its efforts to attend the needs of the unbanked population, not only for personal finance but also for microbusiness. 

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Betting on a segment that wasn’t profitable for major banks, Superdigital as an independent fintech is offering a new solution for companies with high turnover or a lot of temporary staff. In those cases, each employee has its own Superdigital’s banking account to receive its monthly income with the payment of wages included, which used to be an additional cost before. 

“The bank’s costs to process payments is much higher. Super’s systems were built on a more flexible architecture than traditional banks usually do, where the systems are very heavy. So the fintech can process payments in a cheaper and faster way,” explained Felipe Castiglia, Superdigital’s CEO, in an interview for the Brazilian media outlet Seu Dinheiro. 

Currently, Superdigital has up to 1,9 million active accounts in Brazil with a monthly growth of around 5%. Now that the operation is already generating profit on its headquarter, the challenges to 2020 are even bigger. Besides increasing its customer basis by 50% this year, the company is also willing to win the Latin American market. After investing in its first expansions to Mexico and Chile, the company is getting prepared to also enter other markets such as Peru, Colombia, Argentina, and Uruguay.