Airfox accompanies launch of digital banking service with new features

Last week, we announced our rebranded service, a digital banking platform banQi. Combining months of hard work and a solidified partnership with Brazilian retail giant Via Varejo, banQi is designed to provide the underbanked people of Brazil a fair and affordable banking option.

banQi provides users with a human-centered banking option in Brazil

banQi has already received attention from major news outlets across the globe, and has been downloaded by thousands of customers since its initial launch.

New app, new features

Our teams work cross-functionally at Airfox to take feedback from users and develop features that best meet their needs. We outlined the ways that we prioritize usability of the app with our target audience in our recent article on UX design.

Referrals lead to raffle winnings. As part of our established relationship with Via Varejo, banQi now offers referral perks for the retailer’s employees who use the app. When an employee makes their first deposit with banQi, they receive two virtual raffle tickets. The prize can be anywhere between $2 and $1,000 reis. A Via Varejo employee already won R$1,000 through the raffle tickets since the banQi app launched!

VV employees Rosa and Lindaci showing off their raffle ticket winnings. Rosa (left) won over R$1,000 with banQi!

Employees can also receive cash rewards for referring users with their individual referral code. When employees refer someone they now receive a flat monetary bonus in the app for registering a new user.

Casas Bahia store manager and employees showcasing banQi in their store

Transfer to bank account. Another update allows users to transfer money from a banQi account to a bank account. This feature implementation widens the usefulness of banQi across Brazil.

Screenshot of banQi displaying the option to transfer money to a bank account

Improving trust. Users expressed mistrust with the previous app sending out verification messages from American phone numbers. Many users reported this as a message they would ignore or be wary of, which resulted in the update of all verification messages sent to users now deriving from a Brazilian phone number.

Improved design. The banQi app also includes the user-focused and re-designed app flow. Our Airfox designers, partnered with Brazilian company Badaró, conducted multiple tests within our Brazilian target market to gather user-generated ideas for improvements.

Our designers utilized guerrilla testing with users in Brazil: target users such as small business owners were given examples of the app design and asked to provide feedback

Given the feedback our team collected during field research and user focus groups, the updated design avoids confusion and pain points that testers highlighted in the old app’s design and word choice. This lead to an updated look implemented with the banQi launch.

Example homepage of the redesigned banQi app

Features in development

The banQi app is constantly evolving to meet the needs of financially underserved Brazilians.

banQi card. In the near future, our team plans to implement a physical prepaid card to be used anywhere in the world⁠ — not just Brazil⁠ — to make purchases. Our card works like most other credit cards, but the balance is directly connected to the money stored in a user’s banQi account, like a debit card. With their banQi card, Brazilians who have not traditionally had equal purchasing options now have access to make convenient purchases whenever and wherever they want.

Growth. Future developments includes improved support for the expansion of our physical locations in Brazil, as well as implementation of a referral program for all users of the app. As we increase the app users, we gather more data which we expect will improve our credit scoring algorithm as outlined in our white paper.

We are making important steps to increase our user-base with each additional feature added to the app. There will be further app updates as Airfox continues to expand its banking services! Airfox is focused on providing users in Brazil with a trustworthy option for banking services, particularly for customers who are not targeted or helped by traditional banks.

New faces at Airfox

Since our last new hire update in April, we have expanded the teams in both Boston and São Paulo, hiring 10 (and counting) associates combined in both Airfox locations. Our new members served integral rolls in the banQi launch and continue to help us produce innovative banking solutions. We look forward to introducing them to you very soon!

The Boston team in festive banQi gear

Want to join the Airfox team?

Interested in becoming a part of the innovative team at our growing startup? Join us!



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Accelerate financial inclusion in emerging markets using technology built with trust and inclusion.