Facebook-owned WhatsApp has rolled out an update across Brazil that enabled users to send money to individuals or local businesses within a chat. The messaging giant has already tested this feature in India back in 2018. However, with this launch, Brazil becomes the first country to get nationwide rollout and has introduced the ability to directly pay a business.
The company has over 120 million individual users in Brazil, its second-largest market behind India. “WhatsApp is heavily used there, both by people and small businesses,” Matt Idema, chief operating officer of WhatsApp, said of Brazil.
“We think we can help grow digital payments, help grow the digital economy with small businesses, and help support financial inclusion,” he told Reuters in an interview. Many of Brazil’s small businesses already use WhatsApp as a marketing tool to answer questions or send catalogs, Idema added.
Back in April, Mark Zuckerberg said that the company was expanding tools for businesses in WhatsApp.Idema said that the company planned to roll out this feature later in Brazil, however, this feature might help users who are shut in during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We can’t have the kind of interactions with each other than we normally would, if you want to lend someone cash or if you want to buy something from a local business,” he said.
This payment system that uses Facebook Pay will be available for free for individuals, however, it will charge businesses a fee for receiving payments. Initially, the system will accept payments from debit and credit cards from Banco do Brasil, Nubank, and Sicredi, and is working with Cielo to process the payments.
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