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Nubank scraps waiting list for credit cards

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Contxto – What used to take up to three months for prospective Nubank credit cardholder will now require a whole lot less time. To the delight of many, the Brazilian fintech has switched up its approval process for the group of “maybes.”

While some sources say Nubank scrapped its waiting list altogether for aspiring credit card owners, that’s not entirely true. In fact, here’s a correction from our previous reporting: the process isn’t all that different than what it used to be. Rather, Nubank got rid of one part of that process. Here is what I found out from Josafat Vargas, Public Relations Manager for Nubank Mexico.

Correction

To be clear, the waiting list won’t be around anymore. Yet even before this news surfaced, credit card applicants were historically placed in three groups. First off, approvals. Secondly, denials. Last but not least, the “maybes.”

“The third group, the ones with a possibility of approval, were the ones placed on a waiting list for 90 days,” said Vargas in an exclusive correspondence.

“We would re-do the pertinent analysis from time to time to see if they were (eligible) for getting the card. This is what might be tricky (to understand) because this is the list that doesn’t exist anymore.”

In other words, the waiting list only historically existed for this third group. That’s to say, automatic approval always existed for the lucky applicants. Others received immediate rejections while others awaited approval.

Well, not anymore. The only major development from this recent news is that this third group will see faster credit card decisions. While the Nubank credit card has been around for a while, this is still a major upgrade for the fintech startup and Brazilian unicorn reportedly in talks with SoftBank.

In Summary

From the beginning, Nubank wanted to implement a waiting list to limit the number of cardholders for quality assurance purposes. 

“At first, the credit card waiting list was necessary,” said Vitor Olivier, VP of Consumers at Nubank. “But now we can offer a wider portfolio of products and services for those who want to be Nubank’s client.”

Sources now say that Nubank is more “mature” and capable of handling more customers. Already, it has approximately 10 million clients in its native Brazil.

Now that the waiting list has been completely removed, reports convey that the Brazilian fintech is ready for lift-off. With faster speeds will certainly come more demand. Automatic processes should help facilitate this growth.

In-Depth 

Adding more positive prospects is the fact that Nubank recently outperformed Brazilian traditional bank, Itaú. The competitor bank received more credit card inquiries than its old-school opponent during the first quarter of 2019. 

“This is the first time that a fintech has become the most searched-for brand in Google regarding the category of financial products,” said Gustavo Souza, Head of Sales for the financial sector at Google Brasil. “The fact that this happened first with credit cards shows that Brazilian consumers are eager for innovative experiences and offers.”

All of this comes at an opportune time considering that Nubank recently expanded to Mexico and Argentina. New markets inevitably (or hopefully) means more demand.

At the same time, it will continue verifying applications to examine credit history, outstanding debts, or other financial issues. This is to prevent fraud and delinquency. 

Approved credit cardholders will also receive automatic access to the company’s digital account, NuConta. So, in this sense, people will not just apply to get credit cards or a NuConta account but request to be Nubank customers, according to Vargas.

“As NuConta is a payment account and, by nature, does not depend on credit analysis, people will automatically be given access to it,” said Vargas. “The analysis to see if they can also get the credit card will also be automatic.”

“This way, Nubank now gives people the opportunity to have the Nubank experience while also (proving) their financial behavior by using NuConta and the debit card. Then, eventually, we (can) get enough information to grant them the credit card.”

Today, NuConta has around 7 million users in Brazil.

-JA

Jacob Atkins
Jacob Atkins is a journalist specializing in Latin America. He studied journalism and international relations at American University in Washington, D.C. and has previously reported from Chile, Ecuador, Haiti and Mexico. When he isn't writing he's most likely hiking or drawing.

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