Apple's expansion efforts for its digital payment platform might have slowed down a bit, but it is still scoring important wins, nonetheless. After Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates joined the Apple Pay ranks, last year, now Brazil is officially on the supported list as well. Cupertino is a bit behind the competition when it comes to the vast Latin American market, since both Google and Samsung already have their solutions up and running in the country.
Still, it's all about third-party support, when it comes to the digital payment game and Apple is off to a strong start with a 90-day exclusive launch partnership with the nation's top private lender - Itaú Unibanco Holding. The company has roughly 1.2 million VISA or Mastercard holders under its wing, who can now pay using a compatible iPhone, Apple Watch or other Apple device at thousands of eligible locations.
The list of businesses accepting Apple Pay at launch in Brazil includes brick and mortar stores, like Fast Shops, General Prime Burger restaurants, Starbucks coffee shops, and Track & Field sporting goods stores. Many local apps and websites are also already on-board, like Hotel Urbano, Ingresso.com, Mobly, Nextel, and Zazcar.
After the 90-day Itaú exclusivity deal ends, Apple is expected to announce even more partnerships with other financial institutions across the country. Naturally, the e-payment competition is tough, especially in what is currently the eight largest economy in the world. It's anybody's guess how things will play out.