Brazilian Bank To Trial New Blockchain Digital Wallet in Sao Paulo

Banco Bradesco, one of Brazil’s largest banks, is planning to trial a new digital wallet and mobile finance app that leverages blockchain technology for payments and money transfers.

The trial will take place in Paraisopolis, a neighborhood located in the southern area of Sao Paulo. The solution was developed by domestic startup eWally. eWallet was one of the 11 fintech startups to be selected for the bank’s second edition of InovaBRA, a program aimed at discovering new innovative solutions for the financial services industry.

The startup has developed a blockchain-enabled digital wallet that allows for mobile payments and money transfers. The solution lets users send and receive money conveniently using their smartphones, facilitating remittances, donations, loan settlement, disbursement of salaries or bill payments.

Marcelo Frontini, Banco Bradesco’s director of research and innovation, told local news outlet Valor that the eWally solution will be integrated into the bank’s network of “correspondent banks” part of Bradesco Expresso.

Store Itiruçu Banco Bradesco
A store in Itiruçu providing Bradesco Expresso services. Photo credit:

Bradesco Expresso is a network of over 40,000 local businesses that are providing customers with financial services on behalf of the bank in exchange of remuneration. These outlets, whether they are pharmacies, convenient stores or clothing stores, allows customers to pay their utility bills and taxes, withdraw and deposit cash using their Bradesco cards, as well as apply for loans and credit cards.

The integration of eWally will allow the bank’s customers to use the digital solution to make cash deposits, withdrawals and payments, at Banco Bradesco’s correspondent banks.

In addition to eWally, Banco Bradesco will trial another blockchain solution designed by Bit.One for cross-border payments. Bit.One – another startup that was accepted into the bank’s InovaBRA 2016 class – provides users with a set of bitcoin-related products and services. In addition to the payments system, Bit.One also offers a prepaid debit card, a mini ATM machine, and a complete cryptocurrency solution with bitcoin wallet and an exchange platform.

Committed to blockchain technology, Banco Bradesco is also said to be in talks with Ripple for cross-border payments.

The news comes shortly after the bank joined the blockchain consortium led by New York-based fintech firm R3, becoming the second financial institution from Brazil to join the world’s largest bank coalition dedicated to blockchain technology.

“Innovation plays a crucial role at Bradesco and we are committed to better serve our customers and add value to our shareholders,” Maurício Machado de Minas, Executive Vice President at Bradesco, commented.

“Distributed ledger technologies can help us to achieve these objectives and we are excited about joining R3, so that we can work together and discover the full potential of this new technology.”

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