MasterCard Signs Deal with Itaú, Expects Continued Growth of E-Payments in Brazil (March 19, 2015)
Building on the growth of electronic payments MasterCard has been experiencing in Brazil, the card network this week signed a 20-year deal with Itaú Unibanco, resulting in a new electronic payments network in the country, according to an announcement. MasterCard will be responsible for managing the network and transaction routing, and Itaú will issue payment solutions, including prepaid, credit and debit cards.
“Even through economic challenges, electronic payment growth has been very positive for MasterCard in Brazil,” Marcelo Tangioni, vice president of products for MasterCard Brazil and GeoSouth, told Paybefore in a recent interview prior to the announcement. “One factor is that Brazilian consumers have come to realize the benefits and advantages of using electronic payments instead of cash, a trend which has had a positive impact on MasterCard’s business and which has contributed to growth of the payments industry overall.”
Tangioni pointed to two key drivers of further electronic payments growth in Brazil—improved connectivity and a large unbanked population that needs financial services. MasterCard’s Digital Evolution Index survey indicates that Brazil has a great untapped potential: 51 percent of its population are connected to the Internet, of which 97 percent are highly active users; and sales of tablets and smartphones were up 119 percent between 2012 and 2013. The second area of opportunity is in expanding the availability of financial services. Recent research by Instituto Data Popular determined that approximately 40 percent of the Brazilian population is unbanked.
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