“The pandemic has been a great learning experience for us and an opportunity to be even closer to our customers in a moment of crisis,” says Ann Williams, COO of Creditas, a digital platform that offers financial products and consumer solutions in Brazil and Mexico. The company began by offering asset-backed loans to provide “lower interest rates, longer terms, and lower payments that can fit into the pocket of our customers”. In the tenth and final episode of VentureKast: Rebuild, Ann explains how the fully digital company has reached out to their customers — especially small business owners who have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 crisis — to restructure loans and create new products that address their challenges.
“Brazil has one of the highest interest rates in the world for consumer loans and the banks are some of the most profitable in the world,” says Ann, who elaborates that their high-cost structures and focus on shorter-term, “toxic” debt have created a need for better, cheaper loans. “There’s been a push among fintechs like Creditas, along with central bank and policymakers, looking to create opportunities for consumers to access more fair financial products,” she says. By leveraging a digital platform, Creditas can give customers more information and more opportunities, even during this challenging time. Ann reminds us that “it’s always the moment to work to build something better for the underserved,” and she asserts that Creditas’ resolve to enrich the relationships with their customers is as strong as ever.
For more conversations about how the pandemic is shaping our industry, listen to the rest of our VentureKast: Rebuild season here. Host and co-managing director of Venture Lab, Vikas Raj interviewed industry leaders every Thursday for the last 10 weeks about how COVID-19 has impacted their work.