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Brazil’s Itaú teams up with Google and Apple for a grand BigTech-bank alliance

This post is also available in: esEspañol (Spanish)

Contxto – Brazilian bank Itaú Unibanco recently paired up with Google and Apple to implement transactions from smartphone devices. Such a partnership will soon allow Itaú cardholders to use Google Pay payment services among other amenities.

An alliance like this will eliminate the need of physical credit cards, for example.

“The strategic partnership with Google Pay complements the digital payment options available to customers and strengthens our commitment to delivering the most advanced global payment media market,” said Rubens Fogli, director of Itaú Unibanco.

What are the stipulations?

With Google Pay services, debit or credit card holders can make physical or online store purchases by encrypting their card information on the platform. Normally, you’d provide a code or fingerprint to validate the purchase for security purposes.

Customers must also own an Android with Lollipop version 5.0 with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology for up-front purchases. Magnetic fields allow rapid transactions to take place without ever having to use your physical card to make a purchase.

Via Giphy

Why is this a big deal?

Certain banks consider fintech giants like Google, Apple, Amazon or Facebook to represent pure competition. Both entities have always been rivals, yet Itaú seems rather unphased by it all.

Instead of betting on bad blood, the firm has said that BigTech “can be a contribution to provide better experiences to our customers.”

“The Fintech industry is supporting innovation and the incorporation of new technologies in the financial sector, said Manuel Olivares, general manager of Itaú Chile, to the country’s Diario Financiero newspaper. “This supports the evolution of banking from the most traditional to the future.”

This integration is newsworthy based on how Itaú hasn’t only embraced new partnerships but new innovations for its clientele.

-JA

Jacob Atkins
Jacob Atkins is a journalist specializing in Latin America. He studied journalism and international relations at American University in Washington, D.C. and has previously reported from Chile, Ecuador, Haiti and Mexico. When he isn't writing he's most likely hiking or drawing.

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