Brazilian operator Oi has announced the launch throughout Brazil of Oi Conta Zap, a digital bank account managed through the WhatsApp messaging application.
The app was launched in association with Conta Zap, described as the first 100 percent digital account in Brazil via WhatsApp.
The appeal of this agreement for Conta Zap, which already has about one million customers, is further expansion of its base. The initial target market is Oi's prepaid customers, with an eye to serving some of the vast number of Brazilians still without a bank account.
For its part Oi will offer a bonus of 1 GB for each real (one real equals about 18 cents) of recharge in the customer's digital wallet, in addition to 10 percent of the money back in credits on the operator's cell phone.
The digital account allows the payment of bills as well as transfer by the PIX instant payment system and recharge of credits from any operator's cell phone.
The accounts are free, there is no maintenance cost, no fees for transferring amounts, and no limit on transactions. The sign-up process is fairly simple.
You don’t need to be an Oi customer to sign up but, as telecoms, internet and ICT portal TeleSíntese points out, although the account makes use of the customer's cell phone, the partnership was signed with Oi SA and is not a business of the company’s mobile unit. This, in any case, was recently sold to rivals Claro, TIM and Vivo.
The site adds that TIM, Claro and Vivo are also eyeing the banking segment, having announced partnerships and agreements with banks and fintech companies.