Google to invest US$1.2B in LatAm digital economy

Google is investing $1.2 billion in Latin America to boost the region’s digital economy. The investment includes projects like an undersea cable connecting North and South America, launching a digital wallet in Brazil and Chile, and supporting sustainability initiatives and economic opportunities for women. The company plans to expand digital payment services on Android smartphones to other countries, aiming to meet the increasing demand for digital payments in the region.

Google announced that it will invest US$1.2 billion in Latin America to promote the region’s digital transformation and economic development which will be channeled to three large projects in the region: undersea cable, hiring engineers, and digital wallets. To connect North America and South America across the Atlantic Ocean, Google has committed to establishing an undersea cable — dubbed Firmina after Brazilian abolitionist Maria Firmina dos Reis —by 2023. Firmina will be the longest cable in the world running from the US to Argentina, with stops in Brazil and Uruguay. Additionally, Google will launch Google Wallet — a digital wallet designed to compete with Apple Pay — in Brazil and Chile in the coming months. The company said it also plans to expand the payments feature on Android smartphones to other countries. Yet, a US$300 million fund is dedicated to promoting sustainability non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and economic opportunities for women, Bloomberg said. ‘Regardless of how inflation moves, the demand for digital payments is growing at a record pace because it was so behind,’ said Kushki CEO Aron Schwarzkopf.