Brazil-based Inter strives for super app status in the US

The news: Brazilian super app Inter listed on the NASDAQ and said that its newly launched US operations are geared toward immigrants, per PYMNTS.

Coming to the US: Inter’s entry into the US market started with its Banco Inter services. Earlier this year, its banking arm acquired Los Angeles-based Usend, which provides global accounts and remittances to Latin America.

At the company’s NASDAQ listing this week in the US, the super app’s CEO, João Vitor Menin, said he isn’t concerned about the turbulent stock market because demand for Inter’s stock is strong.

  • He also said the company is well capitalized and the app does not need to raise any additional funding through the stock market.
  • As a licensed banking entity in the US, Banco Inter sources income from interest, as well as fees from its investment and insurance platforms.

The bank has already opened branch locations in California and Florida, and plans to tap into immigrant populations to promote Usend for remittances.

Super app superstore: As more aspects of consumers’ lives become digitized, they’re getting hungry for seamless navigation across all of their digital channels.

  • 67% of US consumers say they want to consolidate their digital lives, according to a study done by PYMNTS.

And based on all the market entrants, it looks like consumers will have the pick of the litter. Super apps are entering the market from all angles, all affecting how consumers bank and transact.

  • Big tech: Companies like Apple and Meta tout their excellent analytical abilities. They also control massive research and development budgets.
  • Payments: Providers like PayPal and Klarna have expertise in embedding themselves into various stages of money movement and cash flow, and they touch a large customer base.
  • Neobanks: Digital banks such as Revolut and Inter competitor Nubank excel in customer centricity and partnerships, but their prospects of becoming super apps are weaker due to their unprofitability.

The big takeaway: Inter describes its approach to the US market as a pyramid, with banking services at the base. It envisions customers starting with a savings account, then moving toward investments, mortgages, and other products. Ultimately, the company sees consumers tapping into other parts of the app, like ecommerce, and also using the app for completing tasks like purchasing a plane ticket and transferring US dollars to international bank accounts. But Inter faces tough competition in the US from Big Tech firms and payments providers that already have built relationships with consumers. Although its focus on the immigrant population could give it a leg up, it faces a challenge there from the well-established newcomer Western Union.

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