Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service rolled out a system across Brazil on Monday that will allow users to send money to individuals or local businesses within a chat, attaching payment as they would a photo or video. WhatsApp tested the payment system in India beginning in 2018. The Brazil launch will be the first nationwide rollout and will introduce the ability to directly pay a business.
Users in Brazil will be able to use the payments service on WhatsApp to make purchases from local businesses without leaving their chat, the Facebook-owned service said.
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. 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.
“The over 10 million small and micro businesses are the heartbeat of Brazil’s communities,” WhatsApp said.
“It’s become second nature to send a zap to a business to get questions answered.”
Digital payments on WhatsApp will be tied to credit or debit cards to start, and transactions will require special identification codes or fingerprint verification.
WhatsApp is encrypted end-to-end, and is the most popular mobile messaging app in the world with more than 1.5 billion monthly users around the world, according to market tracker Statistic.
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