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The creation of special cash deposit accounts, better known as simplified current accounts, facilitates access for low-income individuals — especially the beneficiaries of social programs and micro-entrepreneurs — to banking services in general and, consequently, to credit. The simplified account is free of bank charges and does not require proof of income or an address. Between 2011 and 2013, the number of such active accounts increased from 6.9 million to 8.7 million, the majority in government banks. About 3 million of these accounts were opened by Bolsa Família beneficiaries in Caixa branches.
Credit card use also gained ground. According to a survey released in 2013 by the Federation of Commerce of Rio de Janeiro (Fecomércio/RJ), the number of card users more than doubled between 2008 and 2012, from 18% to 41%. The advance, according to Fecomércio/RJ, is compatible with the process of the formalization of the labor market. The creation of formal jobs translates into current account deposits by companies, bank accounts set up for workers and greater access to credit tools, such as credit cards. In addition, growth in workers’ average income contributed to increased access to credit.