Brazilian fintech Ebanx launches digital wallets for consumers

FILE PHOTO: EBANX, a South and Central American payment processor, displays on the exhibit hall floor during the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. on October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Payments startup Ebanx, one of Brazil’s latest fintechs to achieve “unicorn” status, on Wednesday began offering its digital wallets to 10,000 consumers on a test basis, expanding its product portfolio beyond services to e-commerce platforms.

Founded in 2012, Ebanx initially focused on processing payments from Brazilian clients of global websites like Alibaba Group Holdings’ AliExpress retail service, homesharing site Airbnb and music-streaming service Spotify Technology. More recently it started to offer payments processing services to Brazilian e-commerce platforms as well.

Initially, the Ebanx account will offer a card to individuals and will give clients rebates equal to 5% of their purchases as well as payments features, joining a wave of apps challenging Brazil’s traditional banks.

Co-founder Wagner Ruiz said the company may eventually offer savings accounts and other services and potentially expand them to more countries in Latin America. Besides Brazil, Ebanx operates in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador e Bolivia.

“In 18 months, I see Ebanx wallet reaching 1 million clients,” he said.

More than 100 Brazilian companies offer digital wallet accounts, products that have lured some 50 million customers so far.

Ebanx became last year a so-called unicorn, as privately held startups valued at $1 billion or more are known, after a second-round investment by investment firm FTV Capital.

Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Cynthia Osterman