Central Bank initiatives are enabling Brazil’s low-earning citizens to access banking services. Jonathan Wheatley reports from São Paulo on the benefits for both local communities and the financial institutions that cater for them.

Standing in line at a kiosk in Vila Nivi on the northern outskirts of São Paulo, Sandra, a 38-year-old mother of four, is upset. “I’ve been waiting 40 days for my bank card,” she says. “I’ve come here every day to complain.”

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