SAO PAULO, Brazil - Candido Leonelli, head of the No. 1 Internet banking service in Brazil, faced a problem. How could he achieve mass adoption of online banking in a country where only 3.3% of the population has Internet access? His solution: help the bank's customers buy computers.
Banco Bradesco SA has 1.2 million Web banking customers. To boost that number, this month it began offering computers - bundled with free Internet access - to the rest of its nine million customers and its employees. They can pay for the machines in 24 monthly installments of 80 reais (about $43) each. Not bad for a country where monthly interest rates on credit cards are nearly 12%.