PicPay, a Brazilian digital wallet, has 20 million clients as of early May, well ahead of schedule, according to a report by Reuters.
The goal was to hit that many clients by December 2020.
But social distancing and the pandemic left people with more incentive to search for digital financial services.
CEO Gueitiro Genso said in the report that the number of open accounts had multiplied by six as thousands of stores have been closed in Brazil since March.
Like in several other countries, bars and restaurants were among the biggest need for delivery services, Genso said and represented an outsized portion of the urgency for signing up for digital services.
Processors more reliant on in-store purchases like StoneCo have not been so fortunate and have seen decreases in activity severe enough to warrant layoffs, Reuters said.
A new COVID-19 Business Recovery Report from PYMNTS in collaboration with American Express has seen the shift into digital for everything from fitness needs to travel plans. Digital wallets need to be considered alongside traditional credit card payment systems and those for customers who may not have any kind of digital payment system, the report recommended, so that the services can be accessed in multiple countries based on preference.
Brazil was ravaged worse by the virus than other Latin American countries, with a count of over 20,000 coronavirus cases at the beginning of April. President Jair Bolsonaro made headlines in early April calling the virus “the little flu,” while dismissing media coverage as “hysteria.”
In April, the government there planned a $1.9 billion program to support smaller businesses hit hard by the shutdown. The plan, implemented by state-backed lender Caixa Economica Federal, aimed to help around 3 million businesses in the country whose revenue was less than 360,000 reais ($69,458).
The plan calculated that small businesses would be able to survive on 30 percent of two months’ worth of revenue.