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Brazil central bank grants Google Pay payment institution status

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a logo of Alphabet Inc's Google in Zurich

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Alphabet's Google Pay has received approval to operate as a payment institution in Brazil, Latin America's largest economy, the country's official gazette showed on Thursday, allowing it to initiate payment transactions.

Payment initiators, according to Brazil's central bank, initiate a transaction ordered by the final user but never manage the payment account, nor hold the funds of the transactions.

A press spokesperson for Google confirmed the central bank's authorization and said the move offered "more payment options to users through our platforms in Brazil."

Google Pay currently operates an app serving as a virtual wallet, which allows the user to include their credit and debit cards, vaccination cards and concert tickets, for example.

The approval comes days after Brazil's National Monetary Council also authorized fintechs to initiate payment transactions in the country.

(Reporting by Andre Romani; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)