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Facebook relaunches WhatsApp money transfers in Brazil

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Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service relaunched its peer-to-peer money transfer services in Brazil on Tuesday, after being blocked by the central bank nearly a year ago, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a video on Tuesday. .

Brazil is the second country where the courier service has launched money transfers. In India, WhatsApp’s largest marketplace with 400 million users, it got approval to launch financial services in November.

Using debit or prepaid card numbers, the 120 million WhatsApp users in Brazil can redeem up to BRL 5,000 per month (around Rs. 67,900) for free through the messaging service. Initially, the system will not allow each transaction to exceed 1000 BRL (around 1600 Rs) or more than 20 transfers per day.

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The rollout of the new feature will be phased, COO Matthew Idema said in an interview. Starting today, a limited number of undisclosed users will benefit from a payment tool in their app. With this, they will be allowed to invite new users.

In June, WhatsApp launched its payment services in Brazil, but the central bank suspended it days later, alleging it could damage the country’s existing payment system in terms of competition, efficiency and privacy. Datas.

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In addition to reviewing the proposed payment network, the monetary authority also asked the tech giant to qualify as a financial 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 yet to activate payments with merchants, which is expected to be a paid service, adding a new revenue line for WhatsApp. Last year, card payments in Brazil totaled BRL 2 trillion (roughly Rs 2.98.80460 crore), up 8.2% from 2019.

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Idema said discussions with the central bank are still ongoing and that Facebook expects the launch of merchant payments to take place this year, declining to say whether it will be a paid service.

“For WhatsApp, the launch of payments is interesting because it increases the use of the application,” said the COO.

WhatsApp started its payment service in partnership with the Visa and Mastercard card networks and the Cielo SA payment processor. It will work with cards issued by Banco do Brasil SA, Banco Inter, Banco Bradesco SA, Itau Unibanco Holding SA, fintech Nubank, Mercado Pago de MercadoLibre and Sicredi.

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© Thomson Reuters 2021


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