The Brazilian government plans to allow consumers to pay for goods and services with mobile devices in a move to reduce banking services costs, the government said on 20 May.

According to a decree published in the country’s federal register, the government will permit the use of cell-phones and smart-phones when conducting and receiving payments.

Brazil’s Central Bank and Communications Ministry also announced that the government is moving to further the development of access terminals compatible with mobile devices.

Speaking at a conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s Communications Minister, Paulo Bernardo said that "efforts to encourage the use of mobile devices for financial transactions could help counter the high costs in Brazil of banking and credit card transactions, especially for lower-income consumers".

The implementation of commercial m-payments in Brazil could make a big difference for financial services and the unbanked Brazilian population. According to a recent survey by Brazil’s DataFolha institute, 55m Brazilians or 40% of the population above 18 years do not have bank accounts.

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