FinTech Startups Leveraging Automation & Blockchain to Reach Lower Exchange Rates in Brazil

Online exchange platforms had a significant growth last year as they offered more attractive exchange rates than banks and traditional exchange brokers did. For example, in mid-August, customers could buy $1 for R$ 3.28 at CâmbioStore. But at the two of the country's largest brokers in Brazil – according to the Central Bank's ranking – it was sold for R$3.33 (taxes not included).

In addition to not having offices, exchange startups claim they get lower rates because they are more efficient in automating processes. At BeeTech, a holding company that integrates BeeCâmbio and Remessa Online companies, manual and bureaucratic processes are automated. According to Stefano Milo, the Co-founder of the company, they use very low levels of human interventions in their business operations. Besides, real-time chatbots and dashboards make the work easier and more efficient at operating tables."

BeeTech reports that it performs more than 100 daily operations and had a 38% growth per month in 2016. Together, BeeCâmbio and Remessa Online have more than R$ 360 million traded.

At CâmbioStore, the only area that is intentionally not automated is customer service. All other areas of the company are automated through robots and artificial intelligence, said Bruno Ferreira, CEO of Câmbio Store. Still, according to Ferreira, the company grew by 300% in July 2017 compared to the same month in 2016. "Currently we have 110,000 active customers and we intend to reach 500,000 by the end of 2018. In the volume of exchange, our goal is to reach R$ 1.2 billion by the end of 2018."

Application of blockchain technology to reach favorable exchange rates in Brazil

According to Milo, BeeTech is studying how to use blockchain, which can provide more security and transparency to the market: "We are studying blockchain applications for the registration of operations carried out on our platform. In addition, we are envisioning ways to use it as a communication protocol for financial settlements. The regulation of blockchain would help exchange companies as it would make the whole process quicker and easier. And it would bring additional transparency to this sector. That would increase the level of control by regulatory bodies against illegal or fraudulent operations."

Câmbio Store also has plans to implement blockchain next year, according to Ferreira. "The launch of this project will be in the first quarter of 2018. We have already obtained legal endorsements for this and we are developing the solution."

GoMoney plans to launch products with charges

FinTech startup GoMoney offers the possibility of exchanging gold, silver, Bitcoin, dollars and other currencies. The platform works more as a forum than as an exchange trader. After all, its aim is to unite buyers and sellers. The actual transaction takes effects outside the application when buyers and sellers meet one another.

For now, GoMoney has no revenues. The startup receives all its funds from investors. "However, by the end of this year, we will launch new features and aggregate products that will generate revenues, bring even more benefits to users and enable us to keep the currency trading tool free," as explained by GoMoney CEO Mauricio Pires.

Still according to Pires, for reasons of secrecy requested by investors, GoMoney cannot yet disclose the total values of the transactions. However, we can say that, in general, currency exchanges turn around US$ 200 per meeting." The number of users is about 3,000 people.

Regarding sector regulation, Pires says, "GoMoney works and will continue to operate within the laws in force in the countries it operates, but it is prepared for possible regulations as we understand that we are entering an old market composed of large companies, but we know that it is changing with the entrance of FinTechs."

This content was published in partnership with StartSe, a leading Brazilian website that focuses on startups. The portal contains the StartSe Base, the largest database of startups in the country, with more than 5,000 registered companies.