WhatsApp launches digital payments in Brazil

June 15, 2020

WhatsApp has launched in-app payments in Brazil, the company announced on Monday. The payments are enabled through Facebook Pay, which parent company Facebook said last year it would be rolling out to Instagram, Messenger, Facebook, and eventually WhatsApp. The company says it will support debit or credit cards from Banco do Brasil, Nubank, and Sicredi, and it’s working with Brazilian payments processor Cielo.

“Payments on WhatsApp are beginning to roll out to people across Brazil beginning today and we look forward to bringing it to everyone as we go forward,” the company said in the post.

There will be no fees for consumers to use the payments service, but merchants will pay a processing fee to receive payments. Users need to link a credit or debit card to their WhatsApp account, and transactions are secured with either fingerprint or a six-digit PIN.

WhatsApp launched a closed beta in India in 2018, and many expected that country to be the first official site for WhatsApp payments. Facebook has dealt with a number of regulatory issues in India and has a somewhat complicated history there; a 2017 plan to provide free Facebook access drew criticism and led to accusations of digital colonialism.

Facebook acquired WhatsApp for about $19 billion in 2014. As of February, the messaging service had more than 2 billion users.

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