Are Brazil’s banks ready for the World Cup?

By : Robin Angus

June 10, 2014 07:03 PM

The World Cup is about to kick off in Brazil, and while the organizers desperately finalize preparations for the stadiums, it’s worth remembering that there is a lot more going on behind the scenes to make an event like this happen.


Banks and the payments industry in general have a key role in major events like the World Cup. With around 600,000 visitors expected to descend on Brazil, it’s vital that the payments infrastructure can cope.


In a country like Brazil, where electronic payments are far from ubiquitous as they are in North America or Europe, there is a particularly vital role for the banks to play. Visa was able to press the case for a “cashless” Olympics in London two years ago, but there are no illusions that fans on their way to the 2014 World Cup will not be relying heavily on cash.

Responsive planning


Ensuring ATMs around the country and bank branches have the necessary levels of currency is essential.  Automated systems can respond to demand at various points, making it easy for the cash management team to order enough notes to meet demand. For an event like London 2012, it was relatively simple in that all ATMs across the British capital would have seen a broad rise in use with machines close to the venues under extra pressure for the duration of the Olympics.


However, with games in specific cities and at set times of the day, it’s even more crucial for the cash managementteams at banks whose ATMs serve World Cup locations to be dynamic. A challenge like this demands cash planning technology capable of blending historic data with event schedules while reacting in real time to events on the ground to maintain service levels.


Brazil is cash-ready


Brazil seems to be well-placed–for starters it has more ATMs than any other country, around 160,000 according to the World Bank’s latest figures.  The outlook for travellers visiting Brazil is positive. They should be able to find an ATM when they need one–and those banks with an effective cash management solution will have planned for the exceptional demand of the World Cup; so they will be full of cash.


In case you run into an ATM for which planning is based on spreadsheets and guesswork, it would be a good idea to bring alternative payment options as well.