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David Velez, founder and CEO of Nubank, left, and Cristina Junqueira, co-founder at NuBank, during an interview in São Paulo on Feb. 7, 2019.
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April 26, 2021 10:52 AM EDT

Brazil’s banking system has long faced criticisms of poor service, long wait times, labyrinthine bureaucracy and high fees. This—along with the prevalence of informal work—helps explain why some 45 million of Brazil’s 210 million people don’t have a bank account, making it almost impossible for them to access credit or a means of saving. Nubank, Latin America’s largest fintech company, is helping millions jump barriers by offering a variety of financial services via its smartphone app. Since the pandemic began, Nubank’s customer base in Brazil has more than doubled to 35 million as people avoided travel to crowded banks.

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Write to Ciara Nugent at ciara.nugent@time.com.