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Aiming to be among top IT-enabled firms in the world

Brazil’s Banco do Brasil aims to be in the forefront of digital innovations to help the bank serve its customers:

Aiming to be among top IT-enabled firms in the world

Brazil’s most profitable bank, Banco do Brasil, has the objective to be at the forefront of the most advanced IT-enabled firms in the world and it believes one way of achieving this is to develop close partnerships with the ecosystem formed by fintechs, institutes, and universities in Brazil and abroad. In line with this strategy, it has recently signed a partnership agreement with Mila, Quebec’s community of some 900 researchers, specializing in machine learning and dedicated to scientific excellence and innovation. The bank says this is an attempt to achieve digital acceleration and facilitate the implementation of Applied Research Centers and develop cutting-edge technologies.

The bank expects that its presence in one of the most vibrant AI ecosystems in the world will allow collaborative projects involving Mila researchers and bank employees. Through this partnership, events in Brazil and abroad, symposiums, and other training activities will be organized.


The first applied research project under this partnership is expected to focus on security with the bank’s Cyber and Fraud Prevention Unit playing a key role. The aim is to conduct in-depth studies on AI topics and develop solutions that help implement advanced security solutions.

The bank also has an advanced lab, Laboratório Avançado Banco do Brasil, based in Silicon Valley. The Lab helps the bank to learn about and disseminate digital culture within, identify opportunities and work with early-stage fintech startups whose technologies could be of use to the bank.

The bank, founded in1808, is one of Brazil’s largest financial services companies, with interests in banking, insurance, asset management, capital markets and payments along with an international franchise of banks around the world.


The bank is an early adopter of digital in Brazil. It had launched a digital-only account way back in 2016. Besides catering to its growing digitally-savvy customer base, the step has indeed helped it to reduce its customer service costs and to counter the increasing influence of neobanks. The account, called Conta Fácil BB (Easy Account) is a totally digital current account, which can only be opened and operated via smartphone and requires no paper documentation. The account comes with a debit card, Elo, and consumers have the option of a fee-free account or a fee-charging account with greater functionality.

Very recently, the bank has come out with a new technological innovation program, called the BB lenses, which aims to apply emerging digital technologies in new business models for better experiences and efficiency gains. The program is expected to take place in physical or virtual laboratories, bringing together entrepreneurship, training and technology with the support of startups, universities and other corporations. The first laboratory will focus on blockchain. BB lenses are then expected to focus on 5G, agribusiness, IoT, and AI.

The bank claims that nearly 90% of all its customer transactions were carried out through the internet and mobile channels. It has 6.6 million digital native customers – customers who started their relationship with the bank through digital channels. From 2015 to 1H2021, the bank’s technology investments totaled 22.3 billion reais, 1.6 billion reais of which were made in the first 6 months of 2021. The bank has emphasized that all the technology investments are driven by 4 pillars – improving operational efficiency, reducing operating losses, expanding businesses and improving customer service.

The bank had introduced an open banking platform way back in 2017 with fintechs and other companies partnering with the platform to develop services for retail and corporate customers. Today, the bank offers integration with Facebook, Instagram, and PayPal, and customers can deposit cheques and get balances via Instagram. In addition, they can make P2P transfers via WhatsApp.

The bank has now started using data generated in the open banking system to carry out functions like credit limit analyses. It hopes to introduce more such initiatives once more customers opt for the functionality.


Banco do Brasil has the ultimate aim of metamorphosing to be a bank for each customer. It hopes that its technological prowess and the importance it gives to collect, process and use data will help it to get the financial profile of each customer and then have offerings that are best suited to him or her.

In a step towards this, the bank has invited its customers to join its Open Finance portal via WhatsApp, to enable them to consent to the sharing of data from other accounts with Banco do Brasil through the messaging application. The bank says of the customers who authorized the sharing of data with the bank, 90% have already had some benefit, including personalized offers based on the data such as a credit limit review or a card upgrade.

Open Finance is part of several innovations designed by BB for WhatsApp. Earlier, the bank had the complete Pix journey in the messaging application, to offer Debt Renegotiation without human interaction and to have a virtual assistant specialized on companies.

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