The president of Visa in Brazil, Nuno Lopes Alves, stated that the Brazilian economy is able to sustain itself despite the difficulties in the political and fiscal scenario that the country has faced in recent weeks.
“Brazil has a very solid economy, and an increasingly educated population [financeiramente]. There is still some concentration [de riqueza] in certain regions, but it is such an important market that it manages to sustain itself even with the ups and downs that come from the political situation and economic challenges. I hope that Brazil does not lose this relevance”, said the executive.
According to Alves, in addition to advances in the financial system –in the face of payments via WhatsApp and open banking, for example– another movement that takes place regardless of the macroeconomic situation is the digital transformation.
“This is inevitable. There is still plenty of room for people to adopt means of digital services and payments, for example. The modernization takes place independently and this is great news”, he said.
Two months after taking over the management of Visa in Brazil, Alves spoke to sheet about the company’s strategies and next steps, in addition to bringing out the expectations for the company’s performance in relation to the changes observed in the financial system.
Brazil has faced uncertainties regarding the macroeconomic and political environment. Do you believe that this scenario can impact the confidence of businessmen and consumers in the country?
Overall, I’m an optimist. I have been working in the region for many years. Latin America is a region that has always been very volatile, but that has always known how to move forward.
Brazil has a very solid economy, and an increasingly educated population [financeiramente]. There is still some concentration [de riqueza] in certain regions, but it is such an important market that it manages to sustain itself even with the ups and downs that come from the political situation and economic challenges. I hope Brazil doesn’t lose this relevance.
In addition, there is another movement that takes place regardless of the macroeconomic situation, which is the advance of digital transformation.
And this is inevitable, especially in this area in which we work. There is still plenty of room for people to adopt means of digital services and payments, for example. Modernization happens independently and that’s great news.
There are many new consumers. My crystal ball still doesn’t know what it’s going to be like next year. It can go one way or the other, but anyway there is still a lot of room for technology and this digital transformation to grow.
Many people closed their businesses or lost their purchasing power during the pandemic. How do you see the country’s recovery?
It is curious, but in every crisis there is an increase in entrepreneurship, because it is the solution. Many people end up losing formal jobs and have to find a way to support their families.
Then there is an explosion in the emergence of micro and small businesses. In the pandemic, 40% of these micro and small companies that were created started to accept digital payments.
And, in the end, we are already starting to see that consumers are starting to adopt this technology as well. There is a migration of economic activity to another configuration and this is a great opportunity.
Among the various revolutions in the financial system, open banking is the most recent. How does Visa see the arrival of this new system?
Open banking is a very big opportunity and also a target of our performance. We are very attentive not only to what happens in Brazil, but in different places around the world.
We have several players looking at this. At Visa we have more than 100 participants between fintechs and startups, for example.
Open banking is a natural expansion of our business. We were able to provide the transaction of data between consumers and issues, and especially in this model that touches acquirers and commerce, our network also gains an extension of everything we can contribute.
And is there any specific solution for open banking that Visa is working on?
I can’t open information about these new solutions, but thinks it’s a system that will rely on payment initiation and account information traffic. This is our natural space.
We not only carry financial transactions, but we also carry information. We must have something to offer for anything that relates account data and that leads to an ecosystem of partners like banks. We already have, actually.
We are going to occupy a very important space with everything we offer.
What has Visa been doing in terms of security?
In 2019, Visa prevented more than US$25 billion [R$ 130,5 bilhões] on fraud in our systems. It is a very expressive number, which gives a lot of value to the industry.
Obviously we have a whole technology to approve transactions, with networks that can analyze hundreds of variables, but we also evolved in our own credentials. Now data is transformed into fictitious data and it becomes increasingly difficult for a hacker to try to do anything that way.
There are several layers to prevent, detect and resolve. But they are ongoing investments, because security is a basic premise of the market. Without it we can’t do anything.
What are Visa’s next steps with your management?
We will continue to focus heavily on innovation and on developing cutting-edge technologies, bringing all the attributes of innovation and convenience that are part of our proposal.
I’m coming to build [esse futuro] on top of a very good base, great relationships with clients and a structured and very competent team. Now it’s obviously expanding.
More and more, you will see Visa saying that it wants to be a network for everyone and that it works everywhere. And also with regard to Brazil, we want to continue expanding our value proposition to more consumer and commerce segments, so that everyone can benefit from innovations in financial transactions.
We want to empower consumers, commerce and act more and more in this fight for relevance and participation.
What are the solutions Visa is working on?
We’re working on a lot of things, but you can mostly expect an expansion in approximation payouts.
Looking at the physical world, these transactions account for 15% of all transactions made in Brazil. This is a number far below the potential in the region where I previously worked [América Latina e Caribe] it was triple. In Australia, this percentage is 95%.
Of course, this type of solution is much more hygienic, quick and convenient, but there are other aspects that can be explored, such as urban mobility or other sectors, such as education and health, in addition to Tap to Phone solutions [solução de baixo custo da Visa que transforma a geração atual de smartphones ou tablets em um POS [maquininha] based on software, making them able to accept payments on the fly without the need for additional equipment].
We also want to put our credentials in digital environments. Everyone enjoys the experience of using a transport app without touching their pockets, and the more digital experience with Visa credentials, the better.
Whether through insurance reimbursement, payment of salaries in different sectors or in the shared economy. There are many ways to work the money movement experience.
And in the end, every time there’s a business transaction, we can be there, both in the physical and virtual world.’