Sept. 12, 2018 (BOSTON) — Airfox today announced an exclusive partnership with Brazilian retail giant Via Varejo to extend its mobile financial services to 60 million Brazilian consumers across Via Varejo’s retail locations and e-commerce websites. Nearly 1,000 of Via Varejo’s Casa Bahia stores will support the Airfox digital banking platform, providing millions of underserved Brazilian families access to Airfox’s affordable financial solutions.
Underserved consumers now have an easy, fast, and cost-free way to complete such daily financial tasks as buying goods, paying bills, transferring money, and recharging public transit cards using their mobile phones. With the Airfox app, customers will be able to deposit and withdraw money at any Casas Bahia store or over 200,000+ other offline locations, including post-offices, banks, and ATMs. Customers will also be able to pay their Casas Bahia CDC “carnês” bill directly through the Airfox app, instead of going to a physical store. CDCs are in-store loans used to purchase large-ticket items like furniture, electronics, and appliances. Via Varejo issues roughly 300,000 new CDCs per month, and currently has an outstanding CDC loan portfolio of roughly $1 billion.
“Our partnership with Via Varejo supports our mission to democratize financial services for the Brazilian population currently underserved by financial institutions,” said Victor Santos, co-founder and CEO of Airfox.
Airfox offers a mobile digital wallet that is already accessible in the Brazilian market nationwide and will eventually also be available in other emerging markets. This new collaboration allows Airfox to extend its mobile digital wallet to Via Varejo’s national customer base and drive mainstream adoption. Present in more than 400 municipalities across 20 Brazilian states and the Distrito Federal, Via Varejo manages nearly 1,000 stores and serves 68% of Brazil’s population. Via Varejo handled sales of approximately $6.3 billion in Brazil last year (USD converted in today’s exchange rate). The company’s 26 distribution centers, in strategic locations throughout Brazil, average 1 million deliveries per month to the homes of its customers.
“Via Varejo shares the values and mission of Airfox. We both have a deep passion for the customer,” said Felipe Negrão, CFO of Via Varejo. “This partnership will distinguish Via Varejo within the innovation environment and improve the shopping experience of our customers.”
Via Varejo is working to significantly reduce costs using the Airfox mobile platform, while vastly enhancing its customers’ experience. Additional Airfox features include access to microloans, user authentication by biometric facial recognition, QR code charge and payment features, advanced machine learning to assess credit risk from smartphone data, and more.
“Airfox will create an integrated experience for our in-store and online customers with its consumer-driven, innovative technology,” said Marcelo Nogueira, financial services director at Via Varejo. “This partnership embodies Via Varejo’s forward-thinking strategy in using multichannel purchase and payment options that fit the lives of all our customers.”
Airfox aims to be the industry leading digital bank for Brazilians in classes C-D-E by providing a more innovative and cost-effective mobile banking experience specifically tailored to the needs of the lower socioeconomic classes. Airfox offers zero fees, cash-back rewards, and in the future will allow cash-based, unbanked entrepreneurs to access microloans at below-market rates compared to other traditional lenders.
Airfox is on a mission to provide more than two billion unbanked people in emerging markets with mobile access to financial services. The Airfox app, available on Android, eliminates the need for traditional financial institutions and enables unbanked users without credit access to critical financial services. The Airfox lending platform runs on the AirToken platform (AIR), an ERC-20 token built on the Ethereum blockchain. Airfox has offices in Boston and São Paulo. To learn more about the future to mobile banking, visit www.airfox.com.
About Via Varejo
Via Varejo, one of the largest electronic retailers in the world, manages the two major Brazilian retailers Casas Bahia and Pontofrio. The company is present in more than 400 Brazilian municipalities, 20 states and in the Federal District, with close to 1,000 stores and 50,000 employees. When Via Varejo opened its first store nearly 60 years ago, it was named Casas Bahia to reflect large numbers of northeastern Brazilian immigrants living in the ABC region of São Paulo. Via Varejo offers in-store credit facilities for customers to expand access to consumer goods for lower-income families across Brazil. It continues its commitment to enabling greater accessibility, a central value of its immigrant founder Samuel Klein.