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Microfinance Now: Marcos Bader

Mobile banking through agents is shaking up the financial services market in Brazil. In this interview Marcos Bader, general director for Bradesco, the largest bank in Brazil with 62 million retail customers, discusses the impact of competition between the range of new players entering this very competitive market. “We have more mobile devices than population now in Brazil,” says Bader, and the growth of new technologies in the financial services market is extraordinary. Bradesco’s strategy is to use new technologies to expand services to the unbanked and underbanked in Brazil. Bader says that successful business models for delivering financial services effectively to new populations in Brazil are still being defined. Mobile network operators have one important expertise, but banks have another important expertise in providing financial services: “If we can combine, define the border between co-operate and compete, then we will succeed.” “We are playing a soccer game,” says Bader, and the game is at half time. Half of the 100 million potential banking customers in Brazil currently have a bank account, and it took 200 years to serve them. But Bader says that as a result of new technology the next 50 million remaining customers in Brazil will likely take 200 weeks—as opposed to 200 years–to reach effectively.

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