Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service relaunched on Tuesday its transfer money products and services between individuals in Brazil, after it was once blocked by the central bank almost one year ago, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a Tuesday video.
Brazil is the second one country where the messaging service launched money transfers. In India, WhatsApp’s biggest market with 400 million users, it got approval to begin financial products and services in November.
By the use of debit or pre-paid cards numbers, WhatsApp’s 120 million users in Brazil are in a position to send each and every other up to BRL 5,000 per month (more or less Rs. 67,900) through the messaging service gratis. First of all, the system will not allow each and every transaction to surpass BRL 1,000 (more or less Rs. 1,600) or more than 20 transfers per day.
The roll out of the new feature will be phased, Chief Operating Officer Matthew Idema said in an interview. Starting today, a limited and undisclosed number of users will get a payment tool in their app. With that, they’ll be allowed to invite new users.
Very excited to begin enabling Payments in WhatsApp in Brazil today. This will be a gradual roll-out, but enabling people in ???????? to pay one another in conversations as easily as sending a text message is going to be so useful! pic.twitter.com/3YQGdz74QK
— David Marcus (@davidmarcus) May 4, 2021
In June, WhatsApp had launched its payments products and services in Brazil, but the central bank suspended it some days later alleging it could damage the country’s existing payments system in relation to competition, efficiency and data privacy.
Along with reviewing the proposed payments network, the monetary authority also requested the technology giant be labeled as financial products and services company in Brazil, prompting Facebook to create a new unit called Facebook Pagamentos do Brasil, which is now regulated by the central bank.
But the central bank has not yet greenlit payments with merchants, which is expected to be a paid service, adding a new line of revenue for WhatsApp. Final year, card payments in Brazil totaled BRL 2 trillion (more or less Rs. 2,98,80,460 crores), up 8.2 percent from 2019.
Idema said talks with the central bank are still ongoing and Facebook expects the launch of merchant payments to arise this year, declining to remark on if it is going to be a paid service.
“For WhatsApp launching payments is interesting because it increases the app usage,” the COO said.
WhatsApp started its payment service in partnership with card networks Visa and Mastercard and payments processor Cielo SA. It’ll function with cards issued by Banco do Brasil SA, Banco Inter, Banco Bradesco SA, Itau Unibanco Holding SA, fintech Nubank, MercadoLibre’s Mercado Pago, and Sicredi.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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