After months of speculation and testing, Facebook finally launched WhatsApp-based payment services in Brazil. On 15 June, Whatsapp announced that its users residing in Brazil would be the pioneers of a new payment service using Facebook pay. Facebook pay will be integrated into WhatsApp to make it easier to send and receive funds through the application.
In the announcement, Whatsapp noted that the payment services based on WhatsApp are free of charge in the meantime. For commercial purposes, i.e., the WhatsApp business will have to pay a 3.99 percent processing fee in order to receive payments. In addition, the messaging giants noted that a six-digit PIN or fingerprint code would be used to initiate transactions.
WhatsApp-based payment services to work with credit/debit cards
The service will be used by integrating Visa / Mastercard credit or debit cards into the WhatsApp account with early domestic partners such as Banco do Brasil, Nubank, and Sicredi. Cielo, the payment processing firm, is also working with WhatsApp to process payments. The firm has recently stated that it has created an open model to accommodate more partnerships.
The news of the payment services based on WhatsApp comes as a surprise since WhatsApp has been testing another system in India for several months now (the test uses another method, not Facebook Pay but UPI). Most people believed India would be the pioneering region for the payment service.
India is Whatsapp’s largest market
In fact, Facebook has been challenged by a regulatory situation in the region; limiting the pilot test to only a limited rollout in the second largest internet market in the world. Besides, India is WhatsApp’s largest market, with a user base of over 400 monthly active users. Brazil comes in as second with a monthly active user base of 120 million.
Facebook’s latest move to launch the WhatsApp-based payments services on the 2 billion users application, signals that the firm is taking a more thorough commercial jump. The mobile app is not only providing an avenue to communicate but also a platform to transact.