WhatsApp had been testing its mobile payments system in India for months, and today, the company has officially launched the feature in Brazil. The payments system is available for both consumers and businesses. The Facebook-owned company has tied up with several banks and payments firms to launch the feature.
Instant messaging service WhatsApp announced through its official blog that users in Brazil will now be able to send and receive payments via its app. The feature is powered by Facebook Pay, the payments system that was announced last year and is integrated into all Facebook services, including Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. The feature will be available to both Android and iOS users.
The company has tied up with MasterCard and Visa and three local banks—Banco do Brasil, Nubank, and Sicred—for payments. It is also working with Brazilian payments processing firm Cielo to complete transactions on WhatsApp. While consumers can send and receive payments for free, businesses will attract a 3.99 percent commission for receiving payments via the instant messaging service.
Users will have to link their WhatsApp accounts with their credit cards or debit cards offered by MasterCard or Visa. WhatsApp’s payments feature will be protected by a six-digit pin or fingerprint. The instant messaging app, which is free to use for everyone, now has a chance to build a revenue stream and it can finally start being profitable.
It is surprising that WhatsApp launched the payments feature in Brazil even though it was tested first in India. In India, the company’s mobile payments feature was based on the Government of India-promoted UPI (Unified Payments Interface) and not Facebook Pay. Even then, the company faced regulatory issues in India, and the launch faced several delays. It also faces competition from the UPI-powered version of Google Pay and Paytm in India.
Coupled with WhatsApp Business, a way for businesses to build digital catalogs of their products within the WhatsApp app, the company is offering a way for over 10 million SMBs (small and medium businesses) to go online and make it easier for their customers to shop online. WhatsApp says that it now offers businesses faster growth and new opportunities.[Source: WhatsApp]