Taking customer experience to the next level in Brazilian banking

How Airfox is prioritizing Brazilians’ banking needs in product development

5 min readNov 25, 2019

No matter where you live in the world, being an adult in 2019 and the responsibilities that come with it are much the same. A 27-year-old living and working in Boston like our founder Victor has utility bills to pay, a metrocard to keep loaded for daily commutes around the city, and likely owes his buddy a few bucks for the pizza they shared for lunch.

Victor Santos is bringing the banking options he can access in the US back to his home country Brazil.

The difference between Victor and a counterpart living and working in Brazil are the banking options available to them. What takes only a few taps on a smartphone to manage in the US can be a time-consuming, frustrating, or even impossible task in São Paulo. Close to half of the Brazilian population is unbanked or underbanked, making even simple transactions more difficult than they need to be in the modern world. How do we break down the banking barriers holding Brazilians back in their day-to-day life?

For Airfox, the solution seemed pretty simple: Treat Brazilians seeking banking services the same way we want — and expect — to be treated. With banQi, we’ve created an affordable and easy-to-use app with features that close the gap in banking customer experience between places like Boston and Brazil.

The banQi solution is simple: “the bank that has your back”.

Key banQi features

Metro card top-up

Users can easily add money to their metrocards using their banQi balance.

banQi gives users the option of adding money to their metrocards on the go without having to interrupt their busy lives.

The Brazilian city of São Paulo has a robust train system with a daily ridership of 5.2 million. With so many riders on the go, it is important that they have access to quick, simple ways to load up their cards. banQi users no longer have to wait in long ticket lines for their daily commute, improving their day-to-day commuting experience.

Pay bills in-app

Imagine having to wait in long lines at a bank or branch office every time you needed to pay a bill. For many Brazilians, that is the time-consuming reality when it comes time to pay their utilities or rent. With a simple feature like the ability to pay bills in-app, we know banQi users are saving more than just their money — they’re saving their time, and we think that’s valuable!

Removing the need to visit a physical bank to pay bills, users have the power to pay their bills when it works for them.

Mastercard and Cielo partnerships

Users can enjoy services from Mastercard and Cielo that have been directly integrated into the banQi app. Through our partnership with Mastercard, users have access to their banQi balance any time or place — even offline and internationally.

Airfox’s partnership with Cielo created an integration of simplified payment systems via QR code into the banQi app.

Additionally, our partnership with Cielo enables banQi users to pay for their purchases with a QR code generated by Cielo machines, available at more than 1.2 million locations across Brazil. Users also get cashback benefits of up to 1% on purchases made at Cielo point-of-sale machines.

Physical banking locations

The banQi app is unique in the way that it aims to bridge the gap between physical and mobile banking. A recent study from Adobe has revealed that although more than half of those surveyed are conducting their banking digitally, 75% of consumers still believe physical bank branches matter.

Users can take comfort in knowing if they need in-person help with any banking services they can visit a Casas Bahia location to talk to someone about banQi.

Through our strategic partnership with local retail chain Casas Bahia in Brazil, banQi users can conduct their banking both in-app and in-person. Select physical locations make it convenient to access in-person service or deposit and eventually withdraw cash from their banQi digital account. Improving customers’ physical and mobile banking experience is a major focus for Airfox, and we’re continuing to expand our partnership to bring more services to the underbanked throughout Brazil.

Change is only just beginning

These features give millions of Brazilians who own a smartphone easy and inexpensive access to some of the most basic monetary transactions most of us take for granted, enhancing the overall customer experience of banQi users. Our efforts haven’t gone unnoticed: This year, banQi won Aite Group’s Impact Innovation Award in Digital Wallets for Customer Experience.

Airfox is the 2019 Aite Group Impact Innovation award winner for customer experience.

Convenient and accessible financial services for all is an idea whose time has come, and you shouldn’t have to break the bank to do your banking — our recent survey shows that nine out of ten Brazilians believe banks charge abusive fees. Customers should never taken advantage of by the place that manages their money.

We’re not done making the banQi customer experience the best in Brazil. We’ve got more major feature rollouts on the horizon that will make digital banking and day-to-day financial management even more convenient for our users. We know that many of our users are a lot like Victor in Boston — and we think their banking experience should be a lot like his, too.

Airfox is dedicated to closing the customer experience gap between banking in Boston and Brazil — and we’re making it happen.

To learn more about our customer-focused initiatives, please visit the Airfox website and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.




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