Airfox, a startup providing transformative financial services to emerging markets, announced a partnership with Mastercard Brazil that vastly extends the availability of affordable and cost-free banking solutions with 1% cashback to customers.
Building its digital challenger bank built on the principles of financial inclusion and trust, Airfox has secured three additional major partnerships  — Mastercard, Cielo, and Zurich Insurance  — that expand on its existing partnership with Brazil retail giant Via Varejo. The new Airfox contracts exceed US$77 million(BRL$300 million).

“By combining Via Varejo’s expertise in financial services with Airfox’s advanced technology, we are able to offer our customers, even more, ease and convenience,” said Felipe Negrão, chief financial officer, Via Varejo. “With Airfox, we are developing financial solutions that add value to deliver a seamless experience for banQi customers.”

Fintech evolution

Targeting emerging economies, Airfox is successfully executing on a mission to shift the financial paradigm toward greater inclusion with banQi, it’s free and flexible Brazillian banking service designed to accommodate every socioeconomic status. Leveraging new partnerships with Mastercard, Cielo, and Zurich Insurance, Airfox is enhancing and extending banQi functionality to provide greater financial services access to enormous and chronically underserved populations in Brazil.

Airfox worked with strategic partner Via Varejo, a leading Brazilian retailer, to evolve its digital wallet into a challenger bank announced on June 5, 2019. According to Reuters: “Stocks in Sao Paulo climbed 0.6% on broad-based gains last week. Electronics and appliance retailer Via Varejo was the top gainer, up 4%, after it launched a digital bank on Wednesday targeting low-income clients in partnership with Boston-based startup Airfox.”

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.

“This strategic partnership with Airfox provides not only convenience and secure transactions but also financial and digital inclusion for a portion of the population that doesn’t have access to financial and digital services,” said João Pedro Paro Neto, president of South America and Brazil, Mastercard.

Later this year, Airfox’s digital challenger bank will be available in all 800+ Casas Bahia stores across Brazil. banQi clients will have the ability to deposit and withdraw money at any of Via Varejo’s Casas Bahia stores located in 400 cities. The Airfox cash-back Mastercard provides users with an easy and straightforward way to recoup 1% of everything they buy. To help banQi clients build savings effortlessly, customers also will earn cashback on money stored in their banQi digital wallets.

“At present, those without bank accounts face daily financial challenges,” said 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.”