This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Brazil is the largest fintech market in Latin America, and the fifth in the world, with about 700 startup companies. Investment in Brazilian fintech companies totaled just US$ 52 million in 2015 and have grown to US$ 1.6 billion in 2019 (latest figure available).
Though the overall Brazilian financial sector is highly regulated, regulation in the fintech subsector is still being defined. There have been several updates in the past several years that indicate that regulations will likely increase as the sector becomes more prominent in Brazil. For example, the Brazilian Securities Exchange Commission (CVM) created an internal “Fintech Hub” to gain market knowledge to guide future regulation. Additionally, in April 2018, the Brazilian Central Bank (BCB) issued Resolution 4,656/18, which allows fintechs to grant credit without the intermediation of a bank. The regulation also allows credit fintechs to be controlled by investment funds, which had previously been prohibited.
Within the broad umbrella of fintech, the Brazilian open banking model is also currently being defined by regulators with the support of entities such as the Brazilian Association of Fintechs (ABFintechs). In April 2019, the BCB released the main guidelines for regulating Open Banking in Brazil through Communiqué 33,455. Subsequent regulations stemming from the guidelines are expected be put into practice in phases which makes keeping track of market changes critical for market success.
Under open banking, banks will be able to share customer information with fintechs and financial services startups providing they have the client’s consent. This is expected to strengthen linkages between fintechs and banks and lead to individualized financial services and products. The efforts adopted by the BCB towards the adoption of open banking will increase market opportunities for e-banking, e-commerce, and attract millions of new users for the financial system. Brazil has an estimated unbanked population of 60 million people (adults without their own bank account).
Coronavirus Crisis and Fintechs
On March 26th, 2020, the National Monetary Council (CMN) authorized specific fintechs to issue credit cards to the Brazilian public. These changes apply to direct credit companies (SCD) and inter-person loan companies (SEP). The CMN’s strategy seeks to include fintechs as new contributors of credit “in a countercyclical way in the current pandemic.”
According to the Central Bank, the SCDs and the SEPs “constitute an important channel for granting credit, since they provide their services through electronic platforms and reach clients with less access to financial services.
In addition, other changes have been implemented for these fintechs, including carrying out operations with resources from the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES). The CMN also updated the rules for renegotiating debts for fintechs to better reflect what rules had previously been adopted by the other segments of the national financial system.
Business opportunities for US Fintechs to collaborate with Brazilian counterparts are in areas such as:
- Payment and Remittances
- Enterprises Financial Management
- Personal Financial Management
- Crowdfunding and Wealth Management
- Insurance (“Insurtech”)
- Virtual currency and blockchains
- Alternative scoring firms
- Trading and Capital Markets
- Digital Banks
- Technologies for financial institutions, and pretty soon,
- Open Banking.
Distribution & Sales Channels:
As in most other industry sectors, to be successful in Brazil, foreign service providers must either establish themselves in the country or have a local representative.
- Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban)
- Principal Business Associations:
As this sector is still in its early stages, there are few associations:
- The Brazilian Association of Fintechs
- The Brazilian Association of Digital Credit (ABCD)
- The Brazilian Association of Startups (ABStartups)
For more information, please contact US Commercial Service Industry Specialist at Patrick.Levy@trade.gov