“We have the privilege of being able to help others go through this period”

Cristina Junqueira, cofounder of Nubank, talks about the role of fintechs during the pandemic, and how Nubank has been operating in this period.

Cris Junqueira, co-founder of Nubank, dressed in white, poses in the offices.

On April 8, Cristina Junqueira, cofounder of Nubank, participated in a live chat promoted by XP Investimentos about how digital ecosystems may benefit society. In this over-one-hour chat, she talked about the importance of fintechs in pandemic times, and the role of Nubank in helping its customers.

Here she develops some of the topics addressed during the debate.

Taking care of our teams – and, consequently, of our customers

“We quickly realized that we would need to make everyone work remotely. It was a matter of putting Nubankers’ health first.

We use the airplane analogy a lot: in an emergency, you put the mask on yourself first, then you help another passenger. Our concern was precisely this – we needed to look after our team so that it could, in turn, help our customers.

Our responsibility to serve our customers is enormous – there are more than 23 million individuals and legal entities that rely on our 24-hour service. By ensuring the wellbeing of those who work here, we were able to make sure Nubank didn’t stop, not even for a second.”

The relevance of companies now

“One of the things we need to remember constantly is the privilege of being in a position where we can help others. 

It applies to Nubank and to any other company that is in good shape to go through this crisis. We have a business model that allows us to work from home, safe, in good conditions, and even hire new talents in a period of mass layoffs in several companies. 

It’s important to acknowledge this privilege, feel grateful for it, and use it the best possible way to help those that don’t have it.”

How to keep people motivated in this period?

“The first thing companies need to understand is that this is a health crisis – and that will inevitably affect people. They are at home, worried about their families, the global situation, the economy. The role of leaders is to understand the situation and help in every possible way. 

At Nubank, we’ve been making an effort to provide support according to each person’s difficulties. We are sending office chairs to all Nubankers who need one, acquiring faster internet access for their homes, promoting remote training sessions, and above all, intensifying communication between teams and leaders. 

A Harvard Business Review article that has gained some attention recently mentions how this latent feeling we’ve all been experiencing is grief – over the situation we’re living and all the loss we are suffering. We are going through the stages of grief. We start at denial, and the goal is to get to acceptance, understanding what the things we can control are and what we can do about them.”

Fintechs in this scenario

“Nubank was already born to fight the complex situation of financial services: people paying outrageous fees for a terrible and not transparent service that made the customer hostage to the institution.

Right now, our role – fintechs’ and everyone else’s – is even more crucial. Having a 100-percent-digital connection that enables people to do everything from home without paying any fees for that is an essential help to go through these times. 

We’ve worked hard so that people could receive the R$600 emergency aid on Nubank’s account. That can help millions of people who need this money and don’t have a bank account.

And, in the middle of all that, there is the concern of looking after our customers. Millions of people are being affected by the economic impact of this pandemic. We have a set of initiatives – including flexible alternatives to renegotiate debts, reduced interest rates, and the R$ 20 million fund we are making available to help our customers. A substantial part of that fund is being used for remote medical and psychological appointments.”

In addition to interviewers from XP, the chat also had the participation of Dennis Herszkowicz, CEO of software company TOTVS, and Tânia Cosentino, General Manager of Microsoft Brasil. You can watch the video by clicking here.

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