Brazilian Nubank reached 79.1 million customers in Latin America, the neobank said this week regarding its first-quarter userbase growth.
The new milestone marks a 33% growth yearly, up almost 20 million since the first quarter of 2022.
The digital bank started in 2013 in Brazil and has branched out to Mexico and Colombia recently. However, most of its clients are based in Brazil, with a little over 75 million customers, up 31.5% yearly.
In the other two countries, the Warren Buffett-backed bank has seen 66% growth over the same period, albeit from a much lower base.
“We added close to 5 million customers to our base in little more than a quarter, always with a great contribution from the Brazilian operation and a growing adherence of Mexicans and Colombians,” David Velez, CEO and co-founder, said in a press release.
A closer look at profitability
While actively growing its customer base in Latin America, the bank is executing a cross-selling strategy intending to raise the average income per customer. Although the bank has exceedingly cheap customer acquisition costs compared to traditional banks, it still sharply lags behind its brick-and-mortar peers in revenue per client.
“The 80 million user milestone reveals Nubank’s operational efficiency and ability to balance global expansion and portfolio diversification,” said Velez.
The digital bank rolled out a virtual account in Mexico recently, and it is expecting to launch new products in Colombia soon. It didn’t specify, however, what those would be.
In Brazil, the digital bank is actively working on increasing profitability from its vast customer base. It reported an increase in clients using its investing tools, up 130% quarterly to 9.2 million. Assets under management now stand at 47.6 billion reais, or close to $10 billion, the neobank said.
Payroll lending takes off in Brazil
The bank has also begun trials for one of its core products to enhance profitability. This month, it began testing payroll-deductible loans this quarter with its client base of public servants, the first stage of NuConsignado – as the payroll product is known.
The digital bank reduced its risk appetite as inflation spiked in Latin America’s largest economy, leading the central bank to a sharp tightening the previous year.
With payroll lending, the digital bank blazes a trail into secured lending, an asset that bears less risk than credit cards and individual loans. Clients can now take loans directly from the app, which according to the company, “fosters transparency and ease of use in a sector marked by bureaucracy.”