Digital Banking: Which One Is Best?

The digital banks are growing and gaining more customers in Brazil. They came to supply, with technology and efficiency, a market that suffered from bureaucracy in large banks. Hence, they are changing the way many take care of their personal finances .

In this post, you will see what differentiates a digital bank from a traditional bank and will learn how technology is making your life easier in this segment.

You will also see a list of the main digital banks in Brazil and what services they offer. Enjoy reading!

See more: How about doing a complete analysis of your investment portfolio? Click and ask for your diagnosis for free!

Contents hide ]

  • 1Best Digital Banks
  • 2What is a digital bank?
    • 1The main services that a digital bank offers are:
  • 3What is the best digital bank?
  • 4What are the main digital banks in Brazil?
    • 1Agibank
    • 2Interbank
    • 3Original Bank
    • 4C6 Bank
    • 5Paid Market
    • 6Neon
    • 7Nubank
    • 8Insurance Payment
    • 9Direct Sophisa
  • 5Big Store Digital Banks
    • 1Banco Renner
    • 2Pernambuco Stores
    • 3Cocoa Show
  • 6​​Digital banks of traditional banks
  • 7shadow banks
    • 1In Brazil, some examples of shadow banks are:
  • 8What are the biggest digital banks in the world?
    • 11 – N26 Bank
    • 22 – Capital One
    • 33 – Neat
    • 44 – Revolution
  • 95 things you need to know about digital banks
    • 11 – Going to the bank branch no longer makes sense
    • 22 – Digital bank is different from digitized bank
    • 33 – Digital banks promote banking inclusion
    • 44 – Traditional banks are increasingly investing in digital services
    • 55 – Digital banks already have millions of customers
  • 10How to invest in a digital management company?

Best Digital Banks

  1. Nubank
  2. PAN Bank
  3. C6 Bank
  4. Neon
  5. Interbank
  6. Agibank
  7. Original Bank

What is a digital bank?

digital bank is an institution that does not offer face-to-face service . They are also called virtual banks or 100% online banks.

From opening a bank account to clarifying doubts, all customer needs can be solved by computer or applications . No queue, no bureaucracy and no need to leave the house.

These are new proposals – some still being consolidated – that are seeking to solve problems such as high tariffs, lack of transparency, conflict of interests , among others.

The objective is to have more agility in the service and, thus, reach a larger number of consumers.

The main services that a digital bank offers are:

  • digital checking account free of charge;
  • credit card, in many cases without an annual fee;
  • investments;
  • insurance;
  • consortia;
  • loans.

What is the best digital bank?

As you will see below, there are dozens of options when it comes to digital banking .

Since the zero tariff is already a reality for these companies’ customers, other criteria weigh on the choice. The main ones are:

  • service: does the bank offer a service compatible with your needs? Do you prefer phone service or do you want to solve everything via chat? There are alternatives for both cases;
  • types of payment: in some digital banks it is possible to register automatic debit and pay tax guides, such as IPVA, IPTU and DARF. Others, however, do not yet offer these services;
  • application features: banks that offer the best interface are leading the way in attracting customers;
  • partnerships and additional services: there are digital banks that offer cash back when purchasing products at partner stores, the famous cashback.

Therefore, the best digital bank is the one that offers the service best suited to your needs .

What are the main digital banks in Brazil?


It was founded as Agiplan in 1999, in Rio Grande do Sul. As of 2010, it specialized in payroll-deductible loans and, in the following year, it received authorization from the Central Bank to set up its financial institution.

In 2013, it started to offer a checking account and credit card under the MasterCard brand.

With strong investment in payment solutions, the bank reached the mark of 1 million customers in 2018 and has plans to issue shares on the stock exchange.


With an application to carry out all transactions, Banco Inter is free of fees, even for transfers and withdrawals on the 24-hour network.

A differential is the deposit with a bank slip, in which, to deposit an amount in your account, you just need to generate a bank slip in the application itself and pay at any lottery shop.

It has international credit and debit cards at no additional cost and also offers the same services for legal entities, being another alternative for SMEs.

See more: We test Banco Inter! Check if the digital account is worth it

Original Bank

The Original Bank is one of the first institutions to offer a completely digital service, with the availability of multiple card (with credit and debit functions), and an integrated financial manager to the account.

However, it is not free — the fee exemption only occurs if the customer invests R$ 100,000 with the bank.

Just like Neon, you need to download the Banco Original application to open your account.

C6 Bank

The C6 Bank is an institution founded by former partners of BTG Pactual bank. It is focused on premium segment customers Offers digital account , credit and debit cards, loans, investments, among other banking services.

See more: We tested the C6 Bank! Check out a full review! 

paid market

Online payment platform of Mercado Livre, a company that became famous for the digital resale of products.

The financial service was launched in 2019 and offers pay-as-you-go, loans and card machines for retailers.


To have an account at Neon , just download the application on your cell phone and follow the steps indicated in a simple and free way.

No credit approval required. The account is activated when the customer deposits the first R$25.

The institution offers an international debit card. It also offers a financial management and services application for companies (legal entity), being an alternative for micro and small entrepreneurs (SMEs).


Nubank is a startup created in 2013 that initially offered only a credit card with no annual fee. The FinTech launched its digital account at the end of 2017, the NuConta , and walks to become a bank.

On Friday, 11/09/2020, the purchase of Easynvest by Nubank was confirmed, representing a big step for the largest digital bank in the country.

The purchase of Easynvest by Nubank was confirmed on Friday, 11/09/2020, representing a big step for the largest digital bank in the country.

The roxinho founded in 2013 by Vélez, the Brazilian Cristina Junqueira and the American Edward Wible, now bets on the investment market in partnership with one of the largest independent brokers in the market.

The acquisition was made mostly through share swaps, in which Easynvest’s shareholders received a portion of Nubank’s assets and the rest of the amount will be paid in cash.

Magnetis has partnered with Easynvest since 2015. Through the integration between the two platforms, we buy and sell assets in its portfolio, such as Magnetis funds and bonds.

The agreement between Nubank and Easynvest does not change the contract Magnetis already has with the broker Easynvest. The acquisition of Easy by Nubank will also need to be approved by the responsible regulatory bodies, such as the Central Bank and Cade (Administrative Council for Economic Defense).

This year, Magnetis announced that it will launch its own DTVM to operationalize its customers’ applications in the near future.

See more: NuConta’s RDB is worth it? understand the difference


The company, which started as a means of electronic payment, is focused on micro and small businesses (SMEs). Offers digital account and credit and debit card machines.

Direct Sophisa

The great differential of Sofisa Direto is the possibility of investing from R$1 in any type of fixed income investment offered by the bank.

Sofisa Direto offers a debit card and up to four free withdrawals per month on the 24h network.

Big store digital banks

It is not new that large chain stores already offer payment slips, installment plans and even credit cards with their own brand.

However, some are also investing in offering other financial services to their customers. Check out!

Bank Renner

Founded in 1981, Banco Renner specializes in payroll loans and vehicle financing.

In 2018, it launched the Soudigi+ account, a digital account that offers credit and debit cards, payments, investments, consortia and insurance. The basic package of services costs R$ 12.90 per month.

Pernambuco stores

The store chain, which already had its own brand card, launched its digital account in 2019 . To open the account, you must go to one of the stores in person and place the order.

The account offers the possibility to make payments and transfers and is associated with a prepaid card.

Withdrawals can be made on the Banco 24 Horas network. However, the store cashiers themselves offer the service, in addition to receiving deposits. The basic package of services costs R$4.99 per month.

cocoa show

The chocolate chain launched Cocoa Pay in August 2019. The objective is to offer a free digital account, bank transfer, credit card and payments.

Initially, the financial services platform is focused on the brand’s door-to-door resellers. The idea, however, is to expand services to franchisees and own stores.

Digital banks of traditional banks

Concerned about competition, traditional banks also started to offer some alternatives in the virtual environment. It is possible to see:

  • Banco Bari (digital version of Banco Barigui, specialized in credit with property guarantee);
  • BB Digital (digital version of Banco do Brasil);
  • BS2 (digital version of the former Banco Bonsucesso);
  • Online Current Account (Itaú’s digital account). Previously, the bank had a free digital account called iConta. However, it was discontinued and replaced by a paid version;
  • Money Ex  (an initiative of Caixa Econômica Federal to create a new digital bank);
  • Next (Bradesco’s digital bank). The bank also had a free account, Digiconta , which was also discontinued;
  • Pay! (digital initiative of the Avista group);
  • SuperDigital (Santander’s digital checking account).

shadow banks

Some institutions that offer banking services in Brazil do not need a Central Bank license to operate. This type of system is known worldwide as shadow banking and is an important means of financial inclusion.

In Brazil, some examples of shadow banks are:

  • Avante: FinTech offering services to micro and small enterprises (SMEs), such as microcredit andmachine to card;
  • Banco Maré: digital bank aimed at people living in poor communities in Brazil. It offers a prepaid card and has its own currency, Palafita, based on Blockchain technology.

What are the biggest digital banks in the world?

It is not only in Brazil that 100% online banks are shaking up the competition. Check here the main fintechs in this segment around the world:

1 – N26 Bank

The German bank is the first and largest of its kind in Europe. So, like Nubank, it was born as a payments company and evolved into a bank. In 2019, bank N26 announced its expansion to the United States and Brazil.

2 – Capital One

The American Capital One was also born as a company specializing in credit cards and, over time, it became a millionaire holding company.

It is currently one of the 10 largest banks in the United States, offering services such as loans and a basic investment account (the so-called savings account ).

3 – Neat

Hong Kong fintech is focused on small entrepreneurs and startups. Allows accounts in multiple currencies and international payments in an integrated way.

4 – Revolution

UK fintech achieved unicorn status in 2018. It is currently seeking to obtain a banking license in Russia and the United States.

Offers possibility to make transactions in 24 different currencies, including cryptocurrencies . Therefore, it is considered one of the main options for travelers.

5 things you need to know about digital banks

1 – Going to the bank branch no longer makes sense

When was the last time you needed to go to a bank branch to make a deposit, transfer or pay bills?

Most people who have a bank account use Internet Banking. Many have also adopted the applications in their daily lives.

The replacement of the physical bank branch by digital banks is a global trend . A 2015 study by the American bank Goldman Sachs showed that a third of young people between 18 and 34 years old believe they will not need a bank in the next five years.

Half of this group already sees fintechs replacing banks in the most used services.

2 – Digital bank is different from digitized bank

Digital platforms and interactive channels are not enough to convert a financial institution into a virtual bank.

It is necessary to meet specific requirements and, essentially, offer a service that completely dispenses with the customer’s presence at the bank branch.

Otherwise, it can be considered that it is just a digitized bank and not a digital bank .

To differentiate the two cases, Febraban highlights three main characteristics of digital banks :

  • non-presential process: digital capture of documents and customer information and electronic signature collection;
  • 100% electronic service channels: all product contracts and inquiries are made online or by phone;
  • troubleshooting through multiple virtual channels : Have you ever had to solve a problem that started with a call and ended with an email or WhatsApp message? Well, this reality is quite common in digital banks.

3 – Digital banks promote banking inclusion

Thousands of Brazilians still do not have a bank account or even a savings account . According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) this group of people is approximately 55 million people.

The role of financial services being developed by digital banks is fundamental to reversing this scenario .

With a more practical and accessible proposal, these businesses can promote banking inclusion, enabling the simplified use of money, income control, savings and even investments.

For high-impact ventures, the perspective is equally advantageous. The unbanked do not have an account, but they do have money. And it’s not little!

IBGE calculated that this population had an annual income of R$ 665 billion, equivalent to Chile’s GDP at the time of the survey.

Banco Digital da Maré, for example, is a project that seeks to promote the inclusion in the financial system of the population of Comunidade da Maré, one of the largest in Rio de Janeiro.

The banking service is offered through an application that performs banking transactions such as paying bills and transferring money.

Betting on blockchain technology , Banco Digital da Maré created the “palafita” digital currency, developed exclusively for use in the community. Service users are able to shop at the local market using cryptocurrency.

4 – Traditional banks are increasingly investing in digital services

Traditional banks are increasingly investing in innovation, as they have realized that the transformation of the financial system is inevitable.

The 2018 Banking Technology Survey , by Febraban, reveals that in 2017 the financial sector invested R$ 19.5 billion in technology. This value represents an increase of 5% over the previous year.

One item pointed out by the survey was the higher rate of adoption of digital agencies, with assistance through chats, telephone, email or videoconference. The number of these branches tripled compared to 2016: there are 373 branches in 2017, compared to 101 in the previous year.

With the revolution in the financial sector, conventional banking institutions are creating their own digital banks. In 2017, for example, Banco do Brasil launched BB Digital and Bradesco, Next. Both are initiatives that fall under the concept of digital banking.

5 – Digital banks already have millions of customers

The number of digital bank customers has already grown a lot in Brazil , despite the fact that the novelty is relatively recent.

One of them is Banco Original, created in 2008 as Banco JBS. In 2016, Original launched operations as a digital bank.

Another institution that stands out for the number of clients is Banco Inter . After working for 23 years as Intermedium, it changed its name in 2017 and listed shares on the stock exchange in April 2018, becoming the first fintech listed on the Brazilian stock exchange, B3.

The biggest advantage of digital banks is the saving of time and money, after all, many services are already free . Thus, you save on using the services and can even invest your money through these platforms.

How to invest in a digital management company?

The Brazilian financial market is one of the most sophisticated in the world, but most of the population does not invest their money. This is justified by the lack of financial education, the custom of always investing in savings — an investment with a low return, especially with the historical drop in interest rates.

To further aggravate the situation, situations in which banks offer other applications at exorbitant rates and with low returns are not rare. This happens in practically all funds, private pensions and CDBs of large banks.

Not to mention the brokers who often suggest investments thinking exclusively of the commission of their advisors, leaving aside the return on the portfolio and the benefit for the client.

Aiming to revolutionize the market, Magnetis is the first digital investment manager in Brazil . Our team of experts has developed algorithms that analyze more than 20,000 market assets and build the best investment portfolio for you. Customized for your goals, your profile and your moment in life. All this at a single, transparent rate of 0.6% per year. No conflict of interest, pranks, between the lines or commissions . Invest in what matters and reach your goals. Talk to one of our experts and get all your questions answered!

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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