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Cielo Will Not Go Private Despite Brazil Newspaper Report

Brazilian payments processor Cielo SA denied Tuesday (Aug. 17) a local newspaper report that its board of directors was mulling going private, Yahoo Finance reported.

Company leaders said they talked to controlling shareholders Banco do Brasil SA and Banco Bradesco SA about the Valor Economico report, and both companies had also denied it, according to Yahoo Finace. Valor Economico cited anonymous sources in its article.

“Cielo affirms that the news … is untrue and that the topic mentioned in said article, going private, was not discussed by the board of directors,” Cielo leadership wrote in a securities filing, per Yahoo Finance.

Valor Economico’s report said that the Cielo board was split on the idea of going private, but that it had gained momentum, according to Yahoo Finance.

In other news, the Global Digital Shopping Index: Brazil Edition, a collaboration between PYMNTS and Cybersource, a Visa solution, showed Brazil is digitizing quickly even though income levels and access to digital technology are more limited than in other markets PYMNTS has studied, including Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Read more: Brazil’s Great Digital Payments Leap

Brazilian consumers think more about digital commerce, Fernando Pantaleão, head of Merchant Sales and Solutions for Brazil, told PYMNTS, and are expecting merchants to serve them this way or lose them as customers.

Brazil’s use of cash dropped by 25 percent in 2020, while card payments increased by more than 8 percent in that same time period. That’s because the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most brick-and-mortar stores, making cash harder to spend, and people’s enthusiasm for handling cash plummeted, said Pantaleão. Cashless digital options are advancing and multiplying across the nation, he said.

In October, Facebook partnered with Cielo on a payments tool called WhatsApp Pay in Brazil, where the social media giant has 120 million users. Regulators temporarily shut the service down, but Brazil’s central bank approved the new service as long it follows the country’s rules.

Read more: Facebook’s Q3 Earnings Will Reflect Pandemic, Politics and Payments

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