On Monday, Facebook’s WhatsApp application has released a service that enables users to send money to people and local businesses through a chat, attaching payment, as they would in the case of a photo or a video.
From 2018 onwards, in India, WhatsApp tested the payment system. Currently, it has launched in Brazil that will be the first nationwide roll-out to provide direct payment facility to a business.
The WhatsApp application reach is more than 120 million users in Brazil, second-most downloaded application after India. Matt Idema, chief operating officer of WhatsApp of Brazil, said: “WhatsApp is widely used thereby both individuals and small companies.”
“We believe that we can help digital payments expand, help small businesses build the digital economy and support financial inclusion,” he said Reuters in an interview.
Idema also said that many small companies in Brazil are already using WhatsApp to answer queries or send catalogues.
In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company was growing tools for WhatsApp business.
The rollout has been planned for many years in Brazil, but can help people in the coronavirus pandemic, said Idema.
“If you want to lend somebody cash or if you want to buy something in the local business, you cannot have the kind of interactions we normally want with each other,” he said.
The payment method utilises the Facebook Pay system which is free of charge for individual customers, while businesses will be charged a payment fee.
The system will initially accept payments from the Banco do Brasil, Nubank and Sicredi debit and credit cards and works together with Cielo for payments.
Idema stated that the company plans to roll out this payment system in various other countries, but haven’t revealed the country names.