The Latin American region is generally an up and coming region with respect to its wider economic development. Specifically, the region has seen a growth and importance in fintech, producing its own unique innovations, entrepreneurs and thought leaders in the space. As The Fintech Times in September celebrates Women in Fintech we take a moment to hear more from some of the female leaders in Latin America. One of them is Monica Saccarelli from São Paulo, an expert in fintech and specifically in Micro-Investment.
Monica Saccarelli is one of the big names in the financial market. She began her career at Bovespa and worked for companies such as AT&T Broadband (in San Francisco, USA), Concórdia Corretora de Valores and Link Investimentos, where she held the position of General Retail Manager until the creation of Rico, when she assumed the position of director.
At the age of 30, she founded Rico, an investment broker dedicated to individuals. In a short time, it became one of the giants in the sector. The expansion attracted the attention of XP Investimentos, which, in 2017, acquired 100% of the business. In 2019, Grão was born.
As a recognised thought leader and a female, what difficulties have you faced in your career?
The financial market and entrepreneurship is dominated by men. It is very challenging, but we need to continue to conquer our space and know how to deal with it on a daily basis. Whatever the area.
What are the future trends and predictions you see happening in the region?
With advanced technology, the emergence of Pix and Open Banking, the world has turned to fintechs.
In 2019 we launched Grão, the first fintech to enable micro-investment in Brazil. With it, it is possible to invest from R$1. The goal is to help Brazilians create the habit of saving small amounts, encourage the formation of a financial “reserve” to reduce indebtedness and be the initial step for future investments that may be more profitable.
he Grão user has access to a financial organizer, which helps to understand where expenses are allocated (in categories) bringing the result of how much can be saved in the month. Financial behaviour tips and better use of money are also triggered. For those who like challenges, two were developed: the 7 and 21 days, in which the user keeps small amounts during these periods, in order to better adapt and create a light habit of saving money.
What advice and recommendations do you want to give future female entrepreneurs and thought leaders who are based in the Latin American region?
Persist in your dream. It is good this feminine humility, it is a highlight among us. We can share leadership when needed, but we must not underestimate our ability, because we have strength and leadership.
We have created innovation in Grão after being inspired by American fintechs and the research they conducted in Brazil. Now, such ease of use has attracted increasingly users of different profiles who want to save money to achieve their goals.
And in April we launched a new service where it is now possible to use the money invested through the app to pay bills, bank slips and mobile credits. So the user can use his financial reserve to pay his expenses at any time and without having to transfer the money to another account.
We know that there has been a loss of income and, for some users, it may be necessary to use part of the money invested for essential expenses. We want to give full support in this moment of uncertainty and help to use the financial reserve well.
Even in the face of an emergency, for those who still manage their finances, the message is worth it: be sure to invest.