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May 8, 2007
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" Only about one in four Brazilians owns a credit card "

Brazil, officially referred to as the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest and most populous country in Latin America. With over 186m inhabitants, it is the fifth-largest country in the world in terms of both area and population.

The official language is Portuguese and it is the only Portuguese-speaking country in all the Americas.

The Brazilian population tends to concentrate along the coastline in large urban centers. Whilst Brazil has one of the largest populations in the world, population density is low and the inner continental land has large demographically-empty spaces.

It also has the largest Roman Catholic population in the world.

Despite and arguably because of this, it is also rapidly establishing itself as a major player in the fetish arena with several programs offering extreme content from there.

Internet penetration currently stands at 17.2 percent, so therefore, about one-in-five Brazilians has regular access to the web at this time.

Credit card penetration remains low. Only about one in four Brazilians owns a credit card, whereas the average American holds about five. Also, only 9 percent of all Brazilian spending is paid for with plastic.

A barrage of credit card advertisements, from Mastercard pens at checkout stands to Visa logos on employees shirts, have been encouraging Brazilians to live for the moment and use plastic to splurge.

But while the ads have persuaded many to sign up for credit cards, it's proving much tougher to convince Brazilians to whip those cards out at the moment of purchase and forget the sky-high rates they'll face when the bill arrives.

However, one payment mechanism that practically all Brazilians have access to is a phone; with over 80m cellphones currently in use there, it is a great way to charge surfers for access to your web content.

Surfers simply dial a premium number after being prompted to pay you in the Portuguese Language. Upon calling the number, they are welcomed to the password hotline, again in their own language.

They are then issued with a dynamically generated password that grants them access to your members area for a time duration that you decide – he effectively "buys time" in advance.

Since the payouts on offer for developing markets like Brazil are less than those in more developed ones, simply give them less time.

Bear in mind also that that the average wages in Brazil and elsewhere are significantly lower those of those in the west, so your business model might need to be revised accordingly to accommodate these potential customers.

Furthermore, when such billing is used in conjunction with DRM protection, you can be sure that the only people getting access to your content are those that are paying you for doing so.

Failure to implement phone billing will therefore deprive you of an instant new revenue stream from surfers in enormous growth markets like Brazil who like what they see, but up until now have unable been able to pay you.


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