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Fintech Clara launches payment account in Brazil eyeing $1 billion in transactions

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Latin American fintech Clara has launched a payment account in Brazil that it expects will help it reach 6 billion reais ($1.23 billion) in transactions in 2024, the firm said on Tuesday, as it eyes growth in the region's largest economy.

Clara, which also provides corporate cards and expense management solutions, said the new product would allow clients in Brazil to expand their payment methods, adding bank slips and express wire transfers (TEDs) to its traditional credit card.

The firm said it expects to more than double the number of clients served in Brazil next year with the new product, hoping to "capture a good share" of the business-to-business payments market and make Brazil its biggest market.

Clara announced in August it was moving its headquarters from Mexico to Brazil after obtaining a central bank license to operate as a payment institution there, allowing it to launch the so-called 'Clara Conta'.

Future steps include offering deposits via Brazil's popular instant payment system, PIX.

Clara's credit card already accounts for annual transactions of over a 1 billion reais in Brazil alone, and the company says operations have been doubling in size every six months.

"Currently, Brazil already has growth rates two times higher than Mexico in terms of transaction volumes," said the firm, which also operates in Colombia and has lender Banco Votorantim and shopping mall operator BRMalls among its clients.

Clara, which is backed by investors such as Monashees, GGV and Coatue, in 2021 joined an exclusive club of less than a dozen Mexican unicorns, or startups valued at $1 billion or more.

($1 = 4.8964 reais)

(Reporting by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Sonali Paul)

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