Fintech Latest News South America

Bringing Payments to WhatsApp for People and Small Businesses in Brazil

We’re excited to announce that starting today we’re bringing digital payments to WhatsApp users in Brazil. People will be able to send money securely or make a purchase from a local business without leaving their chat.

The over 10 million small and micro businesses are the heartbeat of Brazil’s communities. It’s become second nature to send a zap to a business to get questions answered. Now in addition to viewing a store’s catalog, customers will be able to send payments for products as well. Making payments simple can help bring more businesses into the digital economy, opening up new opportunities for growth.

In addition, we’re making sending money to loved ones as easy as sending a message, which could not be more important as people are physically distant from one another. Because payments on WhatsApp are enabled by Facebook Pay, in the future we want to make it possible for people and businesses to use the same card information across Facebook’s family of apps.

We have built payments with security in mind and a special six digit PIN or fingerprint will be required to prevent unauthorized transactions. To start, we will support debit or credit cards from Banco do Brasil, Nubank, and Sicredi on the Visa and Mastercard networks -and we are working with Cielo, the leading payments processor in Brazil. We have built an open model to welcome more partners in the future.

Sending money or making a purchase on WhatsApp is free for people. Businesses will pay a processing fee to receive customer payments, similar to what they may already pay when accepting a credit card transaction.

Payments on WhatsApp are beginning to roll out to people across Brazil beginning today and we look forward to bringing it to everyone as we go forward.

INDUSTRY VIEWS

Ian Bradbury, CTO of Financial Service at Fujitsu:

“While Facebook announced peer-to-peer payments via WhatsApp some time ago, its launch comes at a convenient time, as billions worldwide are limiting physical contact and the handling of cash. This has resulted in a huge surge in the use of fintech apps and a dramatic drop in the use of cash. If one thing is clear, it is that the lockdown has accelerated the use of non-traditional payment methods.

“As this shift toward digital payments continues, people will become more digitally savvy and expect tech to deliver a more streamlined payments and shopping experience. In times like today, technology can help meet societal demands and adapt to new ways of doing things, and we’re seeing this innovation not only within challenger banks, but also the well-established high street banks that are using technology in new and exciting ways.

“Consumers are digitally adventurous and are keen to use services that offer the greatest convenience, whoever might provide them. Financial services firms must continually offer the latest digital services for their consumers and seek to fit into their lives – or they may very well find themselves losing market share to new digital disruptors like WhatsApp.”

Ivo Gueorguiev, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at Paynetics:

“There are certain complications around payments that are specific to the Latin America region and which will have informed this move, but which might hold WhatsApp/Facebook back from rolling it out to the rest of the world in the same way. In short, there are some significant advantages to the current offer which are very particular to this region (for instance regarding taxes, remittance and currency) but globally without these advantages, there may not be as much of a requirement or, indeed, demand. Couple this with the often-cited general lack of trust in Facebook and growing security/privacy concerns and it will be interesting to see how the company approaches growing its payment platform going forward.

A more viable option is one where payments are embedded into the Facebook marketplace or other channels, such as Instagram, and where they can drive frictionless payment experiences for WhatsApp users. In a climate where e-commerce is booming – e-commerce transactions in the UK alone rose by 60.2% in May according to the British Retail Consortium and KPMG – this could be a significant challenge to more established players in the industry.”

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