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Catalina Bretón

COLOMBIA - Finance

Catalina Bretón

General Manager, Nubank Colombia


Catalina Bretón is General Manager of Nubank Colombia, where she oversees and leads the company’s operation in Colombia. She has over 20 years of experience in strategic planning, administrative and commercial management in both Colombia and the US. Before joining Nu, she was general manager and co-founder of Wingo and director of international planning and Commercial for Jet Blue Airways, based in New York. She also held management positions at Avianca for 10 years. She has been recognized as one of Colombia’s 50 Powerful Women, Best General Managers, and CEOs of The Future. She is an industrial engineer from Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, with an MBA in management, strategy, and leadership from Columbia University in New York.

One of the leading digital banking platforms in the world, Nubank focuses heavily on customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing affordable and accessible financial products.

What is Nu Colombia’s value proposition and identity?

Nubank is the leading digital banking platform in the world by number of customers, and we recently reached 40 million in total. We are also one of the best capitalized start-ups in Latin America, having raised close to USD2 billion in several rounds of investment. We believe that technology will disrupt industries and find new ways of offering services to customers. We are what we call “customer obsessed,” and with technology we can offer affordable and accessible financial products for Latin Americans. Our purpose is to reduce the complexity of financial services.

What is the strategy for maintaining customer service excellence, as you expand in Latin America and build scale?

We have high customers’ satisfaction ratings and loyalty. Our Net Promoter Score (NPS) is around 89 points, which is above big brands such as Apple and Amazon. On average, the financial industry’s NPS in Latin America is around 30 points, and in Colombia it is 34. We have constantly been recognized for our customer service, and overall, for our entire customer experience. With every decision we make, starting with how we attract customers, to how we sign them up, assess them, show them the bills, how they pay, what the app looks like, and for every step we always consider what would be best for the customer. Only then do we look into whether it is compliant, viable, and feasible in terms of technology. The key is customer centricity.

Nubank is attracting the attention of investors worldwide. What makes it stand out among digital banks and fintech companies?

Investors have been interested in Nubank’s ability to disrupt and the many opportunities Latin America offers. First, the region has one of the most concentrated financial industries in the world. For example, in the markets where we have a presence, Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia, six to eight players own 80% of the market, which results in lowest competition and higher costs for the population. At Nubank, we use technology to build more accessible and affordable financial services. We do not charge maintenance fees, we do not add asterisks for hidden fees, and we want to deliver financial services without high costs. We use technology to be more transparent, as people need to be in control of their money. We want to change the relationship Latin Americans have about their money, because people still do not trust financial institutions.

Can you give us an overview of the market move to Colombia, the investments made and your experience in Colombia so far?

Our founder David Velez is Colombian and founded Nubank in Brazil, because he saw an opportunity to build better financial services which were more human-centered. He always wanted to return to his country, bring better financial services to Colombians, and positively impact their lives. We announced our launch of Nu in Colombia at the end of 2020. Digital financial services were picking up, and since 2018 Colombians prefer to do financial transactions online. During the pandemic, this accelerated, and they inclined to do all their financial transactions through their mobiles. Colombians were therefore ready for fintechs. We aim to become the best fintech in Colombia in the long term. We started with a credit card and launched a waitlist with currently over 300,000 people who have signed in. As benchmark, when we launched our waitlist, 10,000 people in Brazil 20,000 in Mexico had signed up to be among our first customers. This demonstrated the eagerness of Colombians to have better financial products. Our credit card will not have a maintenance fee, it works both for physical and digital transactions, it can be managed entirely from the app. It is a Mastercard, so you can use it anywhere in the world. We started our beta version, which we launched in February and as of August 2021 we have invited 10,000 Colombians. We will continue the progressive roll-out in the following months.



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