In this crisis, we wanted to help differently, says CEO of Nubank

March 27, 2020
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President and founder of Nubank, David Vélez talks about fintechs and the coronavirus crisis in an interview with EXAME.

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"We want to be more than a financial institution to help our customers," says founder and president of Nubank, David Vélez. He talks to Exame about the fintechs and the coronavirus crisis in a live interview in the series Exam. Talks.

The executive says that, about a week and a half ago, he started receiving comments from customers, who were contacting fintech with problems because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Part of these issues were financial problems, such as difficulty paying bills with closed lotteries or the reduction in income. But other problems were more widespread, such as difficulty scheduling medical tests or buying basic items.

“In this crisis, we wanted to help and react in a different way,” he says. The digital bank Nubank created a fund of 20 million reais to support its customers during the coronavirus crisis. The funds come from fintech's marketing budget and other efficiency gains and will pay for remote medical and psychological care via video, orders from supermarkets and pharmacies, among other services.
To this end, it entered into partnerships with companies such as Hospital Sírio-Libanês, the psychological service application Zenklub, the delivery companies iFood and Rappi, and the application of pet store products Zee.Dog.

After the disclosure of this initiative, Vélez says that other companies have contacted to participate. "We want this to be a living fund and to grow," said the entrepreneur.

Support and remote work

Like many companies, the entire Nubank team is working remotely. According to the founder, the company already had experience in remote work - with offices in Germany, Mexico and Argentina - but it had never acted 100% in this way.

According to him, remote work has worked better than expected. The technical team also focused on strengthening the infrastructure and technology to make this possible.

“Our focus in recent weeks has been on our ability to work remotely and maintain productivity. It requires investment in communication and much more support for our employees, even psychological, ”says Vélez.

The service team receives dozens of calls a day from people with difficulties, which became even worse during the crisis. "This is a strong psychological blow," he says. According to him, companies should offer more support and support to employees. “Moments of crisis separate or unite the teams. This crisis is an opportunity to create mental and team resilience, ”he says.

Future of fintechs

For the fintech sector, and for startups in general, the coronavirus crisis led to a moment of waiting. Many venture capitalists have their brakes on, to await the outcome of the pandemic and understand its consequences. During the crisis, many are turning to more conservative investments.

But Vélez believes there will be plenty of room for fintechs. According to him, venture capital funds around the world have raised tens of billions of dollars in recent months. In addition, basic interest rates are falling all over the world, so investors need to seek more risky investments to maintain profitability. "I hope that in six months, the venture capital activity will be the same or more accelerated than it was until then," he says.

The interview was given to reporters Gabriela Ruic and João Pedro Caleiro.

Watch the full interview:

Las opiniones compartidas y expresadas por los analistas son libres e independientes, y de ellas son responsables sus autores. No reflejan ni comprometen el pensamiento u opinión de Latam Fintech Market, por lo cual no pueden ser interpretadas como recomendaciones emitidas por la platafomra. Esta plataforma es un espacio abierto para promover la diversidad de puntos de vista sobre el ecosistema Fintech.

"We want to be more than a financial institution to help our customers," says founder and president of Nubank, David Vélez. He talks to Exame about the fintechs and the coronavirus crisis in a live interview in the series Exam. Talks.

The executive says that, about a week and a half ago, he started receiving comments from customers, who were contacting fintech with problems because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Part of these issues were financial problems, such as difficulty paying bills with closed lotteries or the reduction in income. But other problems were more widespread, such as difficulty scheduling medical tests or buying basic items.

“In this crisis, we wanted to help and react in a different way,” he says. The digital bank Nubank created a fund of 20 million reais to support its customers during the coronavirus crisis. The funds come from fintech's marketing budget and other efficiency gains and will pay for remote medical and psychological care via video, orders from supermarkets and pharmacies, among other services.
To this end, it entered into partnerships with companies such as Hospital Sírio-Libanês, the psychological service application Zenklub, the delivery companies iFood and Rappi, and the application of pet store products Zee.Dog.

After the disclosure of this initiative, Vélez says that other companies have contacted to participate. "We want this to be a living fund and to grow," said the entrepreneur.

Support and remote work

Like many companies, the entire Nubank team is working remotely. According to the founder, the company already had experience in remote work - with offices in Germany, Mexico and Argentina - but it had never acted 100% in this way.

According to him, remote work has worked better than expected. The technical team also focused on strengthening the infrastructure and technology to make this possible.

“Our focus in recent weeks has been on our ability to work remotely and maintain productivity. It requires investment in communication and much more support for our employees, even psychological, ”says Vélez.

The service team receives dozens of calls a day from people with difficulties, which became even worse during the crisis. "This is a strong psychological blow," he says. According to him, companies should offer more support and support to employees. “Moments of crisis separate or unite the teams. This crisis is an opportunity to create mental and team resilience, ”he says.

Future of fintechs

For the fintech sector, and for startups in general, the coronavirus crisis led to a moment of waiting. Many venture capitalists have their brakes on, to await the outcome of the pandemic and understand its consequences. During the crisis, many are turning to more conservative investments.

But Vélez believes there will be plenty of room for fintechs. According to him, venture capital funds around the world have raised tens of billions of dollars in recent months. In addition, basic interest rates are falling all over the world, so investors need to seek more risky investments to maintain profitability. "I hope that in six months, the venture capital activity will be the same or more accelerated than it was until then," he says.

The interview was given to reporters Gabriela Ruic and João Pedro Caleiro.

Watch the full interview:

Las opiniones compartidas y expresadas por los analistas son libres e independientes, y solamente sus autores son responsables de ellas. No reflejan ni comprometen el pensamiento o la opinión del equipo de Latam Fintech Hub y, por lo tanto, no pueden interpretarse como recomendaciones emitidas por la plataforma. Esta plataforma es un espacio abierto para promover la diversidad de puntos de vista en el ecosistema Fintech.

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