This week, we look at Rappi’s credit card numbers in the region, which have lagged the rapid growth enjoyed by other digital lenders. Also, Revolut obtains a key license in Brazil, the first global regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies emerges, and Stori raises capital.
This and more in your Friday Briefing .
You may also be interested in our main note: Rappi: Credit card ventures see slow take off
Revolut receives credit license in Brazil
Revolut was cleared by Brazil’s central bank to operate as Direct Credit Society in the local market, which will allow the British neobank to expand its portfolio of products and services. Glauber Mota, the fintech’s local CEO, said in an interview with iupana last year it was also looking to add investment functionality to its platform.
PicPay offers car-guaranteed loans
Brazil’s PicPay introduced loans with a vehicle guarantee through its digital wallet as it looks to expand its portfolio of services. The product, better known as car equity, will be implemented in alliance with lending fintech Creditas, which also has an agreement with Nubank to provide the same product.
Quipu and Claro Pay tout loans to SMEs in Colombia
Colombian fintech Quipu partnered with Claro Pay, the digital wallet operated by the telecommunications conglomerate América Movil, to offer credit to small businesses in the country. Testing began in February and the joint venture is now starting commercial operations.
Flink adds cryptocurrency purchases to its app in Mexico
Mexican investment app Flink added a feature to its platform that allows the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and ether. The new functionality responds to interest from fintech clients in exploring new financial services, the firm said in a statement.
- In Peru, BBVA added new functions to its mobile banking service for visually impaired users in a bid to make their experience easier and more secure.
- In Brazil, 180º Seguros obtained a license from the Superintendence of Private Insurance, or Susep, to operate as an S3 insurer, which allows it to issue all types of insurance products.
IOSCO proposes crypto regulatory framework
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) presented its strategy for establishing a legal framework for cryptocurrency transactions, with the aim of addressing concerns about consumer protection following the collapse of the FTX exchange in 2022. The body presented guidelines for regulators on issues such as conflicts of interest, cross-border cooperation, custody and retail transactions. IOSCO expects the proposal to be adopted by all 130 member countries.
Brazil’s central bank unveiled digital real pilot participants
The Central Bank of Brazil named the 14 participants taking part in a pilot for its digital currency, the digital real. They include Bradesco, Nubank, Santander, Itaú, Banco Inter and Visa. Testing will begin in June on privacy and programmability functions, through the implementation of a specific use case.
Stori lands US$50M line of credit
Mexican fintech Stori obtained a US$50-million line of credit from Community Investment Management to boost credit card issuance. The unicorn also said that it had reached its target of 2 million users in Mexico.
Num Finance raises US$1.5M to expand in LatAm and the Middle East
Stablecoin startup Num Finance raised US$1.5 million in a pre-seed financing round led by Reserve, with the aim of expanding its operations in LatAm, specifically Colombia and Brazil. It also plans to explore markets in the Middle East.
- QED Investors closed two funds totalling US$925 million to invest in firms in Latin American countries such as Mexico as well as other regions
- Mexico’s ALLVP launched a ten-year plan to invest in companies that offer services incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI). The first investment will be in Senzai, a platform that enables entities such as banks to implement intelligent models to optimize sales and customer retention. The size of the program wasn’t disclosed.
Bamboo names new CEO
Payment processor Bamboo has appointed Francisco León CEO. He most recently served as CEO of the company’s Latin American division and previously oversaw regional strategy at PayU.
In an increasingly globalized world, the question arises: Is providing financial services to digital nomads an attractive business opportunity? As traveler-workers flock to cities in Latin America, fintechs and banks are putting together strategies to make saving, investing and exchanging dollars easier. Wise, Nomad, C6 and others tell us how they are doing it.
- Banks are feeling the pressure from digital nomads demanding cheaper, easier payment options.
- Banks and fintechs such as Itaú and Wise recognize there’s a growing market for cheap and easy cross-border payments and global card operations.
- Remittances in Mexico reached a record US$58.5 billion last year and promise to surpass that this year.
We cover all the bases with exclusive interviews from industry executives in our weekly report. Read all about it.