Updated: Oct 11, 2021
A slightly different shade of purple and a bolder logo make up the new brand identity of Brazil’s largest fintech, Nubank. So, why the change?
The beginning of Nubank
The Brazilian fintech unicorn and the world’s most valuable digital bank, Nubank, was founded in Sao Paulo in 2013, with the mission to turn the local financial system upside down.
“In the midst of a bureaucratic financial system, full of absurd fees and poor service, we believed that we could change the rules of the game and improve the relationship between Brazilians and their money.”
So, from day one, Nubank’s biggest priority has been to create the best product on the market and the ultimate user experience. To do this, the challenger focussed on truly understanding people’s exact needs, and translating those into “products that are easy to use, free of charge, and with an amazing customer service”.
And it seems that the neobank has managed to do just that. According to Nubank’s CEO and founder David Velez, it has gone from 12 million to 34 million customers almost entirely through word of mouth and referrals. In a recent analysis, The Low Down has identified the following 3 major factors for Nubank’s massive success: product, data and customer service.
“Try messaging Nubank when something goes wrong. You’re gonna get a response from a well-educated customer support guy and he will solve your issue in minutes. It just works. So, it’s not bots and technology. It’s customer experience.”
Like other challenger banks, Nubank went through the “card-only” route first. Obtaining a banking licence in Brazil is a quite difficult and lengthy process. So, Velez and his team decided to start up the company with a credit card product. The credit card category seemed like a particularly attractive opportunity as existing products on the market were charging sky-high interest rates at the time, between 200% and 400% a year.
That’s how the Nubank pilot purple credit card was born. In contrast to the majority of credit card products in Brazil, the Nubank credit card had no annual fees and it was entirely managed through a dedicated digital app. The card application process was also digital, with qualification and confirmation taking minutes rather than days, providing a frictionless user experience.
Level up your marketing mojo! Subscribe to the Fintech Marketing Monthly Digest and join our growing community of fintech marketers.
To launch the product, Velez and team used the widely popular and highly cost-effective client acquisition tactic of referral marketing – to apply for the new Nubank credit card, people had to be invited by a friend. This strategy works really well because it creates a sense of urgency and taps into people’s desire for exclusivity. Thus, Nubank attracted more than 1mln applicants on its pre-launch waiting list.
Nubank was so determined to differentiate from the traditional legacy banks that it chose Barney purple for its branding and pilot credit card product.
To protect the business from losses, Nubank had eventually approved only 20% of all applicants and offered an ultra-low spending limit of $14 that was gradually raising only when payments were met on time.
In 2017, after receiving an exemption from foreign ownership rules, Nubank finally obtained a Brazilian banking licence, which gave them the right to offer checking and savings accounts. Similar to their flagship credit card product, Nubank’s accounts were free of charge, with a small fee of $1.20 for other banks’ ATM withdrawals. Within the first 5 months of release, Nubank’s new account products won 1.5mln of the company’s 4mln credit card customers at the time.
And Nubank’s success didn’t stop there. Like many B2C fintechs, the bank benefited significantly from the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulted consumer fear, social distancing, and self-isolation that forced even a large proportion of the older Brazilians to move to digital banking and contactless payments via mobile and web applications. So, in 2020, Nubank reported that it had nearly doubled its revenue to $963mln, as compared to $523mln in 2019.
To keep up the momentum and respond to the increasing competition from incumbents and new market entrants, Nubank has focussed on product diversification and customer excellence. Last year, the neobank acquired the fast-growing digital trading platform, Easynvest, and launched its own life insurance offering. According to a recent JPMorgan survey, Nubank’s net promoter score (a customer satisfaction measure) was at the astonishing 86 records, as compared to Itaú’s 53 and Bradesco’s 43.
Nubank in 2021: Time for a rebrand
Following the success of its purple card, current accounts, loans, brokerage and life insurance products, and its expansion into the Mexican and Colombian markets, Neobank’s brand has entered a new era. In May 2021, the bank launched a new bolder and more modern logo, a slightly different shade of its iconic purple, and some additional changes to its app’s interface.
To bring its human side, Nubank’s new logo and brand shapes now feature smoother and less square curves.
“The curves that form “nu” are now smoother and less square, bringing our human side. The fluidity has also changed a bit – it’s like two ribbons are being turned, representing a movement that never stops, in the same way that we never stop evolving. The colours gave the letters a greater weight, making reading more accessible and representing our more mature products. All of this translates to what matters most: our closeness to people.”
“We have always had great passion when building the Nubank brand. It is the first impact for customers when they know us and we always try to devote to him the same attention and attention we enjoy when developing our products. Change is now happening to publicly reflect a more mature Nubank going through a new moment”, explains Christina Junqueira, co-founder of Nubank.
At the beginning of this month, Nubank also introduced its new premium credit card offering, an Ultraviolet Cashback Card made of metal and inscription visible only under UV light. To differentiate from its flagship ‘Roxinho’ card, the card is of a darker purple shade. The card number is also only stored in the app along with the expiration date and the CVC (three-digit security code) to minimise the risk of fraud if the card gets stolen. The physical card features only the customer’s name, the Nubank’s logo, and a secret message that can only be seen under ultraviolet light.
If you enjoyed this article, don't forget to share it with your network and subscribe to the Fintech Marketing Monthly Digest!