After months of planning, WhatsApp finally introduced digital payments. WhatsApp users in Brazil will be able to send money securely or make a purchase from a local business without leaving their chat.
What’s the big deal: Facebook-owned WhatsApp is enabling its 120 million Brazilian users to send money to one another.
- WhatsApp payments are intended to be used to buy things from merchants as well as send money P2P.
- Behind the scenes, WhatsApp uses Facebook Pay to send and receive money.
- Facebook Pay was designed to handle payments inside Facebook’s apps, including WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, and Facebook itself.
- WhatsApp has 2 billion users now, up from 1.5 billion a couple of years ago.
- Many expected WhatsApp to launch in India first, as it began testing payments there in 2018.
- Powering the payments from the card networks side is Visa Direct and Mastercard Send, the firms’ push payments platforms.
“We think we can help grow digital payments, help grow the digital economy with small businesses, and help support financial inclusion,” Matt Idema, chief operating officer of WhatsApp told Reuters in an interview.
How it works: WhatsApp payments are free for consumers to use. Businesses pay a 3.99% processing fee to receive payments.
- Users pair their WhatsApp account to their Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card.
- Local Brazilian partners including Banco do Brasil, Nubank, Sicredi and Cielo.
- To make a transaction, WhatsApp payments require a six-digit PIN or fingerprint.
“In my opinion, the WeChat model is the best business out there - you can hail a cab, book a doctor’s appointment, make a dinner reservation and buy a car, all on your phone. I think Facebook is looking at a comparable opportunity with this announcement around WhatApp payments in Brazil, and I believe this is only the beginning. ”