As WhatsApp Payments remain stuck in India, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday announced to launch digital payments for people using WhatsApp in Brazil, where the users would be able to send and receive money to family and friends and make purchases. The Brazil launch comes ahead of India where the company began testing payments feature way back in 2018 but could not launch the feature for over 400 million users owing to regulatory roadblocks and data compliance issues.
"We're making sending and receiving money as easy as sharing photos. We're also enabling small businesses to make sales right within WhatsApp," Zuckerberg said in a post. "To do this, we're building on Facebook Pay, which provides a secure and consistent way to make payments across our apps. We're working with local banks, including Banco do Brasil, Nubank, Sicredi as well as Cielo, the leading payments processor for merchants in Brazil," he informed.
"Brazil is the first country where we're widely rolling out payments in WhatsApp. With the addition of Visa's trusted payment technology, WhatsApp users will now be able to swiftly and securely send and receive money to family and friends, and to make purchases from small businesses on the popular global messaging service."
Payments on WhatsApp are made possible by tapping into the capabilities of Visa Direct, Visa's real-time1 push payments technology, and Visa Cloud Tokenization, Visa's new cutting-edge security capability that launches today in conjunction with payments on WhatsApp. Sending money or making a purchase on WhatsApp is free for people.
Businesses will pay a processing fee to receive customer payments, similar to what they may already pay when accepting a credit card transaction. Zuckerberg said earlier this year that the peer-to-peer, UPI-based payments feature will be rolled out in several countries in the next six months.
"We got approval to test this with one million people in India back in 2018. And when so many of the people kept using it week after week, we knew it was going to be big when we get to launch," Zuckerberg said in January. "I'm really excited about this, and I expect this to start rolling out in a number of countries and for us to make a lot of progress here in the next six months," he added.
Beginning Monday, select Brazilian WhatsApp users will gradually start seeing the payment option on the app, where they can set up an account by adding their Visa card to start sending and receiving money. For small businesses to be able to receive payments from customers, they simply need to create a WhatsApp Business app account.
"Using our technology to open up avenues like WhatsApp for more people to shop and pay each other digitally is an incredibly powerful proposition that we're excited to bring to life," said Jack Forestell, Chief Product Officer, Visa.
"We are very excited to bring payments on WhatsApp to our users across Brazil. Making it easier to send and receive money could not be more important than at a time like this," said Matt Idema, WhatsApp's Chief Operating Officer. "Small businesses are the backbone of the country. The ability to easily make sales right within WhatsApp will help business owners adapt to the digital economy, support growth, and financial recovery," Idema added.