Financial powerhouse

1 minute read

In an increasingly digitized economy, the 1.4 billion people who live on cash alone are left behind. "You are completely marginalized," says David Vélez, CEO of Brazil-based Nubank, the world’s most valuable digital bank. Unable to buy a product or service online, “you end up being basically precluded from participating in economic development." Lack of access to formal financial services also forces many people into risky behaviors like saving cash at home or turning to high-interest loan sharks. Nubank has ushered nearly 22 million people into the financial system for the first time; in May, it became the first neobank outside of Asia to amass more than 100 million customers. Last year, Nubank added 19.3 million customers as well as 40 new products, including a suite of antifraud features like Street Mode, which lets users limit mobile transactions if their phone is not connected to a secure, predefined wi-fi network. In 2023, Nubank hit $1 billion in profit, a first for any Western online-only bank.

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