JPMorgan backed Brazilian Fintech FitBank to Expand Payments Services Business into the US

Brazil-based FitBank Pagamentos Eletronicos SA, a Fintech firm backed by JPMorgan Chase, one of the world’s largest banks in terms of assets and scope of operations, is planning to establish an additional business office in the US during the first half of next year.

The payment-services company claims over 100 clients in Brazil. It’s also preparing to launch operations in Colombia, Mexico, Peru in 2021, according to Otavio Farah, CEO at FitBank.

As first reported by American Banker, Farah recently noted that payment technology doesn’t vary too much from one jurisdiction to another. He claims that his company can really go global, however, the strategy will involve giving priority to countries where the Fintech firm believes there’s already demand for its services.

Fintech adoption in Brazil is on the rise and local companies are also beginning to expand their business outside of the South American nation, so that they can diversify their operations outside of the highly concentrated financial markets in Latin America.

For instance, Nu Pagamentos, a digital bank launched just seven years ago, has become a major service provider and managed to acquire North Carolina-headquartered software-consulting company Cognitect in July 2020 after introducing credit cards in Mexico earlier this year.

FitBank’s customers include banks, Fintech service providers, non-financial platforms. One of the company’s main strategies at this point is to become a more established global company by teaming up with JPMorgan, the largest US bank.

As reported in July 2020, JPMorgan had acquired a minority stake in the FitBank through its strategic-investment division. At the time of the transaction, Renata Vilanova Lobo, head of JPMorgan’s wholesale payments services in Brazil, had taken a seat on the board. FitBank also offers certain services to JPMorgan’s business operations in Brazil.

Marcelo Maisonnave, founder at XP Inc., and Alejandro Vollbrechthausen, the former CEO Goldman Sachs Group’s division in Brazil, are also board members at FitBank.

Established in 2015, FitBank has been developed in an environment that was already surrounded by cloud computing solutions and the latest smartphones or mobile technologies. This means that it didn’t have to go through the challenging process of upgrading major legacy infrastructure, Farah explained.

He claims that FitBank’s open platform can securely manage and analyze payments. The platform can also find and fix problems in an efficient manner, since it eliminates the need for more traditional back office tasks.

Farah also revealed that the total transactions settled by the company each month has increased by 2x to around 1 billion reais (appr. $183 million) from 500 million reais, which was the monthly average before the Coronavirus crisis began.

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