WhatsApp will restart its payment service in Brazil after the first start was quickly stopped by the Brazilian central bank in 2020. This alerts you to the need to identify compliance issues and not obtain a license. WhatsApp’s goal in creating the payment service was to increase the financial inclusion of users in its second largest market while allowing users to make payments within the platform with a Visa or Mastercard credit card. When it launched in 2020, local lenders and international payment solution providers partnered with WhatsApp to produce the payment service. These included Nubank, Sicredi, Banco do Brasil SA, Visa and Mastercard.
The repackaged payment service will be offered after WhatsApp, Visa and Mastercard received separate licenses from the Brazilian central bank to offer WhatsApp users the specific payment solution. WhatsApp remains the primary online presence for millions of small and medium-sized businesses in Brazil. This revised model will serve as the first step in achieving seamless digital payments for small businesses in the country.
In June 2020, when the WhatsApp payment service shut down, there were rumors that its presence could hinder the growth of the central bank’s Pix instant payment service, which had not yet launched at the time. It should start before 2021. Following the suspension, WhatsApp stated there was no need to obtain an additional banking license and both Visa and Mastercard already had valid central bank banking licenses. There was also a risk of heavy fines being imposed on both Visa and Mastercard, which may have been part of the reason the service was shut down quickly last year.
The newly launched WhatsApp payment service in Brazil is showing great promise for small businesses.
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