Banco Inter Acquires FinTech Startup USEND

Banco Inter

Brazilian digital bank Banco Inter SA has reached an agreement to acquire FinTech startup USEND as part of its plan to reach beyond its South American borders, according to a securities filing, MarketScreener reported Friday (Aug. 27).

USEND offers foreign exchange transactions, payments wallets, debit cards and bill payments to 150,000 customers. Most of the company’s clients are Brazilians living in the U.S. but Banco Inter Chief Executive Joao Vitor Menin said his company wants to compete with Chime Financial and SoFi Technologies Inc. by developing a global client base.

“I think there is room for more banking competition in the U.S., with FinTechs luring clients from traditional banks,” said Menin, adding that USEND’s wallets will not charge fees.

The value of the Banco Inter-USEND tie-up has not been disclosed, but Menin said USEND’s acquisition is the company’s biggest move since it listed its shares in 2018. Banco Inter is backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. The company is also eyeing acquisitions in Europe and in Latin America, said Menin, although it will likely operate without full bank licenses outside Brazil.

Banco Inter has 12 million clients and comes as the bank is developing a plan to list its shares on Nasdaq by the start of 2022.

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USEND Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer Ran Grushkowsky told PYMNTS in June that establishing and maintaining cross-border accounts and transmitting funds isn’t easy.

The company has evolved since starting in 2007 into a financial services platform provider for people and businesses. The platform logged $1.1 billion in payments volume and $17 million in revenues last year, more than double the previous year.

USEND operates as a consumer brand but leverages partnerships to broaden its reach and range of services offered. BBVA is one of its strategic partners.