Neon aims to light up banking in Brazil
Brazilian online bank Neon has launched – offering accounts only accessed through a smartphone.
The bank, founded by 24-year-old entrepreneur Pedro Conrade, is targeting the millennial crowd and its goal is to reach 100,000 active customers in its first year of operation.
Neon says it will be the first bank in Brazil to use biometric authentication for transactions within smartphone applications.
Conrade says: “My distaste with the traditional banking model started after a disastrous experience during international travel where my bank didn’t bother to help me through a tough situation. It was then that I realised I was just another number to them.”
Instead of authenticating with a username and password, customers will take a selfie to use facial biometrics.
After opening an account, customers will be issued two Visa-branded debit cards — both a physical and a virtual card. The physical card will be used for point-of-sale purchases at retail locations while the virtual card will be used for online purchases.
Neon says there are no monthly or annual fees, and will not offer lines of credit. An act it calls an “ally” in customers’ financial management and “unburdening them from a life of debt”.
“We are a bank founded by young people conceived for a new generation of banking customer. Our focus is to encourage sound financial planning and education to ensure that the youth of this country will not start their lives in debt,” says Conrade.
Neon uses US-based Daon’s IdentityX platform for biometric authentication.