Marqeta Expands Into Brazil With Fitbank Partnership


Card issuer Marqeta is entering Latin America’s largest FinTech market with its expansion into Brazil.

That expansion is happening via a partnership with Latin American banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform Fitbank and network certification with Visa, per a Tuesday (July 11) press release.

“As part of Marqeta’s partnership with Fitbank, the company will both be a Marqeta customer, using it as a payment processor, and serve as a BIN sponsor for Marqeta’s customers looking to launch in the region,” Marqeta said in the release.

The expansion means Marqeta’s platform is operational in more than 40 counties, according to the release. With Fitbank, Marqeta’s customers get access to a platform licensed by Brazil’s central bank and directly integrated with PIX, the country’s real-time payments system.

The PIX platform was launched at the end of 2020 by the Central Bank of Brazil and has been described as “a government-built version of Venmo.”

PIX quickly blossomed in popularity and is now used regularly by 60% of Brazilians, according to the “Digitizing Payments in Latin America Playbook,” a PYMNTS and Kushki collaboration.

“Our new partnership with Fitbank puts us on great footing in Brazil,” Marqeta Chief Revenue Officer Todd Pollak said in the announcement. “The two companies have great DNA fit. Fitbank is a tech forward, innovative platform, interested in building innovative payment solutions.”

As PYMNTS wrote in May, BaaS is a fee-based model that enables non-banking entities to offer financial services to customers through a connection with banks via application programming interfaces (APIs).

Essentially, BaaS lets nonfinancial companies “embed” banking products and services into their user interfaces without needing to become licensed banks themselves.

“There has been such widespread interest in BaaS and embedded finance because they help address both customers’ and companies’ needs,” that report said. “One of the biggest benefits is improvements to the customer experience.”

With embedded finance, customers enjoy smoother experiences and faster access to services, an important point at a time when nearly 80% of consumers say that positive user experiences have at least a very large impact on how much they trust their financial service providers.

Last month, Marqeta teamed up with Tuum to help European banks and FinTechs build flexible card programs. The collaboration combines Tuum’s core banking solution and Marqeta’s digital payment experiences to help Tuum offer its customers a pre-integrated FinTech solution that will accelerate their time to market.