WhatsApp Payments have become available Now in Brazil again, the Facebook-owned chat service has relaunched the feature nearly a year after it first launched in the country.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a video: WhatsApp has re-launched money transfer services between individuals in Brazil, after the central bank banned it nearly a year ago.
Brazil was the second platform to launch WhatsApp payments after it was launched in India a few months later, but its central bank forced the service to suspend the feature in June of 2020, a few days after it was launched there.
In March, the Brazilian Central Bank paved the way for the service to allow money to be sent using the Visa and MasterCard networks. And after considering whether it meets all the rules related to competition, efficiency and data privacy.
This came after the central bank said: that WhatsApp payments may damage the current payment system in Brazil in terms of competition, efficiency and data privacy, adding that it failed to obtain the required licenses.
WhatsApp initially tried to avoid becoming a financial services company in Brazil and sought licenses by relying on existing bank licenses for Visa and MasterCard, but it succumbed to regulatory pressure.
The monetary authority also requested that the tech giant be named as a financial services company in Brazil, prompting Facebook to create a new unit called Facebook Pagamentos do Brasil, which is now subject to central bank regulation.
Although the feature will be re-launched in Brazil, it will not be available to everyone from the start.
It can be accessed by a limited number of users at first. And they have the ability to invite other people to use the feature.
The 120 million WhatsApp users in Brazil can send up to 5,000 BRL ($ 918) per month to each other for free.
Moreover, a single transaction has a limit of 1,000 BRL ($ 184), and users cannot process more than 20 transfers per day.
WhatsApp can only process peer-to-peer transfers for now, but it originally provided the feature to help small merchants.
Local companies in Brazil and India are using the chat app as their primary online presence, and the payment feature was supposed to help them easily accept digital payments.
Facebook is still in talks with the central bank about merchant payments, and the company reportedly expects to launch the feature at some point this year, adding a new line of revenue for WhatsApp.
Card payments in Brazil totaled 2 trillion riyals ($ 368.12 billion) last year, an increase of 8.2 percent from 2019.
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