WhatsApp Business Payments Get Green Light In Brazil

March 6, 2023
The Brazilian Central Bank has given WhatsApp the green light to launch its payment service for small- and medium-sized companies in Brazil.

The Brazilian Central Bank (BCB) has given WhatsApp the green light to launch its payment service for small- and medium-sized companies in Brazil.

The authorisation will enable WhatsApp users to pay for products and services directly in the messaging app with their Visa and Mastercard credit, debit and prepaid cards.

“Excited that the Central Bank of Brazil has authorised the launch of WhatsApp's new payment feature!,” Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp at Meta wrote on twitter.

“Soon, Brazilians will be able to browse products, add them to a cart and make secure payments to small businesses right from a chat.”

The BCB announced last Thursday it had lifted measures on Visa and Mastercard that prevented the networks from processing people-to-merchant (P2M) payments through WhatsApp.

As per the announcement, “there are no more regulatory barriers to carrying out business transactions” via the messaging app.

The P2M payments product complements WhatsApp’s existing offering, which enables users to send peer-to-peer (P2P) payments to others on their contact list using their Visa or Mastercard, which the regulator gave its blessing in March 2021.

“We believe that enabling people to pay businesses via WhatsApp will have a big impact on everyone, bringing ease and simplicity to users while helping small- and medium-sized businesses increase their sales,” Guilherme Horn, Head of WhatsApp, Latin America commented.

Brazil is the second largest market of WhatsApp after India, with an estimated 118m users.

When WhatsApp enabled the P2P payment option, Brazilians sent 1m payments within the first 6 weeks on Mastercard rails alone, the card network said.

The P2M segment now may open up an even bigger market for WhatsApp Pay in Brazil, with the potential to connect to 11.5m micro and small enterprises, which account for 98.5 percent of all companies and generate 27 percent of the country’s GDP.

In preparation for the new payment offering, WhatsApp announced in November that it was building a business directory to help people find and contact businesses with the ultimate goal to enable payments within the chat.

“This seamless checkout experience will be a game-changer for people and businesses looking to buy and sell on WhatsApp without having to go to a website, open another app or pay in person,” the company said at the time.

WhatsApp was testing the payment service with partners such as Cielo, Fiserv, Getnet Brasil, Mercado Pago and Rede.

Horn said the company built an open platform with the participation of several Brazilian acquirers “to ensure that the greatest possible number of companies and individuals have access to the service.”

Apart from Brazil, users can also use WhatsApp to pay businesses in India and Singapore.

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