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Payments are finally coming to WhatsApp (Update: Halted)
Update, June 24, (12:49 PM ET): Unfortunately, it appears that payments on WhatsApp are already ending, at least for now. According to Folha de S. Paulo (via Android Police), regulators in Brazil decided that the new ability for WhatsApp users to easily transfer funds between each other needed more scrutiny.
As of now, Brazil is the only area of the world with the payments feature, so this will likely halt rollouts to other areas.
The primary reason for the roadblock is anti-trust concerns. More than half of Brazil’s population uses WhatsApp so a payment system baked directly into the platform suddenly makes other options far less competitive. However, it’s not quite clear yet what Facebook (which owns WhatsApp) would need to do to rectify this situation.
Hopefully, this matter can be fixed soon, as the ability to make quick payments on WhatsApp is likely something people the world over would like to have.
Original article, June 15, 2020 (01:42 PM ET): WhatsApp users have waited a long time for the chat app to roll out the ability to send money, and the feature is finally coming. However, it’s not launching worldwide, as only users in Brazil will be able to take advantage of the new Payments on WhatsApp feature for the time being.
The Facebook-owned chat app took to its blog to post the announcement, stating the feature would be accessible starting today for users in Brazil.
Users will be able to send money to friends or loved ones without a fee, but businesses will be charged a processing fee of 3.99% to receive customer payments, according to TechCrunch.
Because Facebook owns WhatsApp, the payments are handled by Facebook Pay. Rather than set up a new platform, it makes sense for the company to use the one it’s already rolled out for its social media site. It will support Visa or Mastercard credit or debit cards with local partners like Banco do Brasil, Nubank, and Sicredi. Cielo is the payment processor working with WhatsApp to process the transactions.
There’s no word yet as to a global rollout, but we will keep this article updated as more regions gain access to the feature.