Visa and IDB Partnership Brings Financial Inclusion to Complexo do Alemão in Brazil

August 22, 2012 at 12:24 PM EDT

Sao Paulo, August 22, 2012 – Visa Inc. and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today announced an unprecedented partnership to promote financial inclusion for residents of Complexo do Alemão, a cluster of favelas located in Rio de Janeiro. As part of this partnership, Visa and IDB will develop innovative local solutions that will allow the community to access the formal financial system and its benefits, as well as provide individuals and small businesses the information and education needed for sustainable inclusion. This partnership continues Visa’s commitment to advancing financial inclusion throughout the world.

“Visa believes that everyone has the right to basic financial and payment services. Our partnership with the IDB is crucial in delivering on the promise of economic growth that electronic payment systems can provide,” says Rubén Osta, Visa do Brasil’s General Director. “Our collaboration with IDB helps us fulfill our goal of developing financial inclusion products, services, technology, and tools to help bring this community into the formal economy and provide everyone with a more dignified and secure life.”

The partnership consists of a three-year commitment with three main phases:

  • Financial Literacy – implementation of classes in financial literacy, a topic that Visa promotes around the world. A custom-made course of Visa and IDB for this project will offer classes for 13- to 17-year old teenagers, as well as adults. Community teachers will be trained by Visa.
  • Financial Consultancy – free and permanent financial consultancy services will be provided, directed specifically to the needs of local individuals and businesses. A Visa and IDB -trained financial consultant from the community will provide all the necessary information on how to legally register a business or open one’s own business in Complexo do Alemão, as well as help community members open a bank account, understand the financial system or enroll in government social welfare programs.
  • Facilitating Access to Financial Inclusion – Studies commissioned by Visa and IDB to map habits, usage and penetration of the financial system in Complexo do Alemão.

Based on this data, Visa, in partnership with one of its financial institution partners – Bradesco – will study and assess opportunities for effectively meeting the needs of this population, seeking financial tools that make citizens’ daily lives easier, allowing them to make and receive payments in a much more secure and innovative way.

Most of the activities will be held at the facilities of Espaço Comunitário Carlos Castilho in Complexo do Alemão and will be a part of the development project implemented by the government of the City of Rio de Janeiro through its Sports and Leisure Secretariat. The IDB provides financial support for the project through partnerships like this.

“This project is a great example of the power of strategic alliances as a catalyst for initiatives of great social impact. Thanks to the joining of forces of private entities such as Visa with the local public sector, represented by the Sports and Leisure Secretariat of the city of Rio de Janeiro, and the IDB, as a Universal Bank, young adults and families in highly vulnerable communities will have access to financial inclusion and financial education program,” says Bernardo Guillamón, Manager of the Office of Strategic Alliance at the IDB. “These programs will not happen in an isolated manner; they will be happening within a coordinated effort with other program partners, such as the FC Barcelona, the NBA and Colgate, and under a full-time impact monitoring and assessment system. This is a model project that shows the enormous potential of sports as a means for articulating social programs and public-private partnerships. The support of partners such as Visa is crucial,” adds the executive.

To Romário Galvão Maia, Secretary of Sports and Leisure of the City of Rio de Janeiro, “a brand like Visa is crucially important for adding value to the sports and development project since it transfers its know-how in financial management to the residents of Complexo do Alemão.”

To learn more about Visa’s financial inclusion and financial literacy initiatives, please visit the following:

Visa’s Financial Inclusion and Literacy website
Visa-Rwanda Partnership to Drive Electronic Financial Services
Rwanda Launches Financial Literacy Campaign with Visa
Visa Offers Financial Literacy Road Shows in South Africa
Orange to Offer Visa Mobile Prepaid Accounts to Orange Money Customers in Africa and the Middle East
Visa and Monitise Set to Transform Mobile Payments Services in India


About Visa Inc.: Visa Inc. is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks—VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit

SOURCE Visa Inc.