Nubank injects 100 million dollars into its operation in Mexico

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The Latin American neobank Nubank announced on Tuesday a new capitalization of $100 million for Mexico, its priority market this year. In an interview, the general director of Nu México, Iván Canales, assures that this investment makes the financial company the largest of its kind in the country, with a total of 1.4 billion dollars invested in Mexico. “This capitalization confirms what already We have discussed that Mexico is the number one priority for Nu Holdings globally,” says Canales, “and it will be used to continue expanding our product offering within the Mexican market.” One of its most recent products is a savings account launched late last year that offers an annual return of around 15%, a higher rate than banks. In the first month of launch, Nu, the neobank's commercial name, added one million new clients. To date, the company has 5.5 million clients in the second economy in Latin America. The announcement comes days before the Banking Convention is held, organized by the Association of Banks of Mexico (ABM) on December 18 and 19. April in Acapulco. Santander and Banorte are among the banks that have launched their digital arms, OpenBank and Bineo, respectively, this year. Fintech companies, which were born as applications that offer financial services without having to be a bank, are becoming increasingly popular among Mexicans. Nubank, today known as Nu Holdings, was born in Brazil 10 years ago as a fintech. Its global CEO and founder, Colombian David Vélez, has said that the company seeks to attract the unbanked population in countries where they represent an attractive market size. Mexico stands out among its peers, as it is the country with the lowest banking rate among OECD member countries. Nu claims to have made great achievements: for 50% of its clients, its credit card is the first one they obtain. Nu's ambition is to become the leading financial services company in Latin America. In Mexico, savings accounts with 15% annual returns “have changed the conversation about returns,” says Canales. “We wanted to create a conversation about the fact that not only did most Mexicans not have access to savings accounts when only 50% of Mexicans have access, but also that most people did not generate returns when they did have savings accounts. savings because the Mexican market pays very little,” adds the 40-year-old manager, originally from Monterrey (Nuevo Léon). Recently, Nu reduced the rate of return offered on this product from 15% to 14.75% after the bank The central bank will cut the reference interest rate in the financial system by 0.25%. This does not mean that Nu will follow the monetary policy decisions of the Bank of Mexico in the future “point by point,” says Canales. Although Nu sees itself as a bank (and even the name Nubank suggests it), in Mexico there are constituted as a Popular Financial Society (Sofipo). This figure, created as part of a reform of the financial sector in 2017, allows it to attract resources from the public but with certain limitations. This is why the company has processed its request to receive a banking license in Mexico, which is in the hands of the authority in charge, Banco de México, and the sector regulator, the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV). According to company data, its equity represents almost 51% of the entire Sofipos sector, as of March. “We have realized that in Mexico there is a great need for our clients to learn how to use a credit card and how to repair your credit history,” says Canales, so their next products will have that focus. Nu assures that it has reached 9 out of 10 municipalities in Mexico, including most of the rural areas that the Federal Government has designated as “priority.” “This means that there are people who are in rural areas of Mexico, where, because the traditional model requires branches, they are far from a branch and do not allow them to operate a bank account.” “We are exploring two very interesting things for the market. Mexican,» shares Canales, «one is to expand our investment functionalities to give specific returns to our clients by freezing their money in certain terms… and we are also exploring an offer of secured lines of credit to help more people to build their credit history.”If it receives the license, it would become a bank but Canales assures that this would not change the way they operate, Canales promises. “Our essence, our DNA, is a company focused 100% on the customer and that uses digital products to simplify products that are complex,” she argues. “We are a company that tries to innovate and this is part of our values. We have explicit values ​​such as challenging the status quo, that our clients love us, looking for clients who are fans, this is part of our culture and that does not change regardless of the legal entity we have.”Subscribe to the EL PAÍS México newsletter and to the WhatsApp channel and receive all the key information on current events in this country.