SÃO PAULO, Aug. 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Way before the term “fintech” became part of Brazilians’ everyday life, a young entrepreneur from a family of Italian immigrants, born in a countryside town in the south of Brazil, was already taking steps in this direction. Marciano Testa’s journey began in the late 1970’s in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Before becoming the founder and CEO of neobank Agibank, Testa spent his childhood and teenage years in a family of small means. From a very early age, he had to work to help his parents, selling snacks during school breaks and tending his neighbor’s garden.
Testa’s commercial skills were of great help, particularly in such a challenging country for entrepreneurs: in 2020, the “death rate” in Brazil for small businesses reached 29%. Today, at the age of 44, Agibank’s CEO has tender memories of his humble origins: his father was a worker in civil construction and his mother was a housewife who helped the family income by stitching soccer balls.
Testa’s successful story began in the early 2000s. It is a story of entrepreneurship and foresight in the offering of services. As an example, he was the first to provide QR codes as a method to pay bills. Now his well of ideas is quickly turning into a full ecosystem which encompasses marketplace, communication, technology and finance.
Agi is the new Agibank
On August 31st, Agibank announced the next leap in its business model. After having spent two decades as a financial institution, the company has evolved into Agi. This super app is born as a full ecosystem, through an open platform that exists outside of the bank itself. Agi distributes Agibank products and services, as well as products from other banks. Its goal is to meet a broad range of needs in clients’ day-to-day lives.
Agi builds on Agibank’s sound track record: an NPS of 80 points rated by users of payrolls and digital salary advance loans [crédito consignado in Portuguese], 12% of share in market origination, a fast growing client base, an increase of over 200% in assets in the first months of 2020 alone, and a strong client-centric culture. Its mission is to provide the same welcoming experience of digital and financial inclusion for several different profiles of Brazilian citizens, many of whom are still left out of this universe and are underserved by traditional large incumbent banks. Agi’s role is to challenge the status quo – a task that will become increasingly intense in an open banking environment. “Agi is a natural evolution of our business model,” says Marciano Testa, CEO and founder of Agibank. “It is an all-encompassing platform, providing solutions that range from means of payment to entertainment, content, investments, a marketplace and banking services. And because we are truly inclusive, we offer the fastest onboarding process in Brazil. We have designed a concept that allows people to become clients of our platform in just three clicks: a user is impacted by a cashback promotion available in our marketplace, or by some sort of content in our platform; when the person consumes that product or service, they get an account. It’s that easy.” Testa adds: “Thanks to an amazing work that ties together UX, data intelligence and a smart orchestration of engines, we can meet the needs of three major client profiles with one single app. We call these profiles the grandparents, the grandchildren and entrepreneurs – every family has all of them. Agi’s offerings are adjusted to fit the needs of each group.”
Working as a one-stop-shop platform, Agi’s goal is to really make the client’s life easier. Hence making the platform available both for Agibank account holders and non-clients, with 12 different types of contact points – a truly omnichannel proposition. “Agi is a platform where Brazilians can easily solve many everyday needs. It reduces the distance between the credit people take and the goods and services they consume,” Testa explains.
Agi Compras [Agi Shopping] is one of the solutions that is part of the super app. More than 320 partners are plugged into it, including some of Brazil’s largest retailers and service providers. Agi Compras is tied to cashback offerings, so that part of the amount of each purchase goes straight back into the client’s account. Another important part of the Agi super app is Agi Investimentos [Agi Investments]. It offers more than 650 different funds, fixed income products, cross-border remittances, FX delivery services, etc.
Of course, banking is still an important pillar within Agi, which will have Agibank as one among several providers of day-to-day banking solutions. In order to help closing the historical credit gap in Brazil, the company is betting on a “credit builder” strategy: it improves credit offerings for clients as their relationship with the bank evolves. “The Agi platform will serve our existing 3.1 million plus clients, as well as the market as a whole, starting from our current base of customers. It will boost our growth strategy and attract different profiles, creating a positive flywheel effect,” states Testa.
Besides the super app, Agi also counts on more than 820 brick and mortar hubs to support those who need a hand with the onboarding process or with navigating the different service channels. “Our hubs are paperless and cashless, truly asset light. They are not branches: there are no revolving doors, cashiers, no paperwork whatsoever. The hubs are gateways into the digital world, allowing us to serve and have access to a huge slice of the Brazilian population that is not being served by our competitors. These citizens have no access to different channels, nor to products such as salary advance loans – which is currently the largest credit portfolio to individuals in Brazil, adding up to almost 500 billion Reais,” he explains.
Until now, these hubs were already serving and helping Agibank clients in their digital journey. Now they will also facilitate the Agi experience, playing the role of “digital shop windows” for the products offered at Agi’s marketplace, and of service stations for payment solutions such as POS machines. In the next few months, hubs all around Brazil will be fully integrated into the ecosystem.
Agi is the result of intense research, tests and strategic partnerships. It will keep broadening its offerings of solutions and accounts – including the support of a community created to truly welcome people into the Agi ecosystem. The goal is to continuously improve the user experience and the brand’s portfolio of solutions.
To support this great expansion, Agi counts on two independently managed companies that are part of the larger conglomerate. HypeFlame is a spinoff from Agibank’s tech department, with over 200 million Reais in revenue and 600 employees. It is responsible for the group’s tech and innovation structure. a.house specializes in content, paid media, business intelligence and audience performance, having the task of attracting traffic and engagement to the Agi platform, always aiming at reaching different profiles of Brazilians, including entrepreneurs. For more information go to agi.com.br.
Press Contacts – Danthi Comunicações
Aline Zampieri ([email protected]) +5511 96149 0029