October 14, 2019 / 3:42 PM / a month ago

Google enables debit card payments in Brazil

FILE PHOTO: Small toy figures are seen in front of Google logo in this illustration picture, April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc’s Google on Monday launched a debit card payment function in Brazil through Google Pay, to boost use of its Android smartphones.

Online retailers in Brazil often take only credit cards, not debit cards, because of a higher incidence of fraud, a problem Google said it has tackled, without disclosing how.

Joao Felix, responsible for Google Pay in Latin America, said Brazil has 60 million debit card holders, while credit card holders total 50 million. By enabling debit card payments, Google increases its target market, he added.

Further details on the new debit function or usage estimates were not provided.

Google will not charge retailers, card issuers or card processors for the use of its debit payment platform. Felix said the company’s goal is to increase Android smartphone’s usage.

Card issuers Banco do Brasil SA, Banco Bradesco SA and Itau Unibanco Holding SA will allow clients to use the Google Pay’s debit function, as well as card networks Mastercard, Visa and Elo and e-commerce platforms, such as delivery apps Rappi and iFood.

Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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