WhatsApp Launches Facebook-powered Payments Feature For Users In Brazil (Update: Suspended)

If you are a person who lives in Brazil and uses WhatsApp messaging service, you can now send and receive payments by using WhatsApp. The company announced today that WhatsApp users in Brazil can now send and receive payments securely right from within their WhatsApp chat with friends, family members, or businesses.

According to a post on Facebook-owned WhatsApp’s blog, the new payments feature is powered by Facebook Pay. WhatsApp users in Brazil will be able to send as well as receive payments from their loved ones with WhatsApp business accounts. The new feature will make it easier and quicker for small businesses to send and receive money.

The company stated that the payment will be secure and WhatsApp will require a six-digit PIN or fingerprint authentication before users can complete their transactions. WhatsApp payment is supported by Visa as well as Mastercard debit and credit cards from Sicredi, Nubank, and Banco de Brasil. The company also stated that WhatsApp is currently working with Cielo. Cielo is the leading payment processor in Brazil and WhatsApp states that the company has created an open model to make it convenient and easy for extra partners to join in the future.

Users can utilize the new feature by linking their WhatsApp account with their Vira or Mastercard debit or credit card. WhatsApp payment does not attract a charge when a user sends or receives payments. However, WhatsApp will require businesses to pay a processing fee to receive money from their consumers. The company has already started to roll out the new feature to WhatsApp users in Brazil. The new feature will arrive for every WhatsApp user in Brazil in the coming few weeks.

This news comes a bit of a surprise as the company was testing the payment feature in India for several months. Facebook-owned messaging service first began receiving payments in India back in the year 2018. However, it was only a test run. Users were expecting that WhatsApp will first roll out the payment feature for users in India. The new feature was supposed to roll out to more users in India, but Facebook has been facing challenges with approvals in India.

Whatsapp remained stuck in a regulatory maze in India which prevented the company from expanding this feature to more users. It is not yet clear which countries will be getting the payments feature next as the company not yet made an official announcement related to this aspect.

Update (25 June 2020): Facebook has suspended its Whatsapp mobile payments service in the Brazil. The Central Bank of Brazil notified media outlets that it has taken the decision to “preserve an adequate competitive environment”.

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