Airfox partners with Mastercard for Brazil’s financial inclusion
Airfox, a start-up providing financial services to emerging markets, has partnered with Mastercard Brazil (as well as other two companies) to provide cheap and cost-free banking solutions with 1% cashback to customers.
Targeting emerging economies, Airfox and banQi offer a free and flexible Brazillian banking service designed to accommodate every socioeconomic status.
Airfox has now secured three additional major partnerships: Mastercard, Cielo, and Zurich Insurance. These expand on its existing partnership with Brazil retail giant Via Varejo.
The new Airfox contracts exceed $77 million.
Airfox worked with strategic partner Via Varejo, a leading Brazilian retailer, to evolve its digital wallet into a challenger bank.
In partnership with Mastercard Brazil, banQi clients will have access to digital and physical prepaid cards that can be used for online and offline purchases. Unlike traditional debit and credit cards, customers can qualify for banQi without a formal credit history and do not need to open a bank account at a brick-and-mortar establishment.
Available fall 2019, the Airfox Mastercard feature will also make cash more conveniently accessible by allowing banQi clients to withdraw cash directly from most ATMs in Brazil.
“At present, those without bank accounts face daily financial challenges,” says Victor Santos, chief executive officer and founder, Airfox. “Generally, the poorer you are, the more you pay for financial services and the less access you have to wealth-building instruments. Today’s largely digital world presents an opportunity to balance that inequity; and banQi services represent a leap in the right direction.”
Airfox’s partnership with Cielo enables banQi clients to pay for purchases via mobile device usingQR codes.
Paulo Caffarelli, president, Cielo, says: “The QR code acts as a barcode, which banQi users can scan with their smartphones to pay for purchases instantly.”
The banQi platform integrates with more than 1.2 million convenient Cielo point-of-sale (POS) locations in stores and retailers across Brazil. In addition to simplifying payments, banQi also offers cashback on purchases made via Cielo QR codes.
Zurich Insurance, already holds a multi-year partnership with Via Varejo to bring digital insurance products to banQi customers, such as lending insurance, unemployment insurance, mobile phone insurance, and life insurance.
“Insurance is extremely important to safeguard the material achievements of individuals in this segment, and the digital platform will help broaden the reach to that sort of protection,” says Edson Franco, chief executive officer of Brazil, Zurich Insurance.
Over the next six months, Airfox plans to grow its teams in both Boston and Brazil.