WhatsApp has more than 120 million individual users in Brazil, which is the second-largest market in India.
Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service on Monday launched a system across Brazil, which will allow users to send money to individuals or local businesses within a chat to pay, engage in the form of a photo or video. WhatsApp tested the payment system in early 2018 in India. The Brazilian launch will be the first nationwide rollout and will introduce the ability to pay a business directly.
The company has more than 120 million individual users in Brazil, the second largest market in India.
“WhatsApp is used by both people and small businesses,” said Matt Idema, chief operating officer of WhatsApp, Brazil.
“We think we can help develop digital payments, help grow the digital economy with small businesses, and help support financial inclusion,” he told Reuters in an interview told.
Many Brazilian small businesses already use WhatsApp as a marketing tool to answer questions or send catalogs.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in April that the company was expanding devices for businesses in WhatsApp.
The rollout in Brazil was long planned, but may help users who are off during the coronovirus epidemic, Idema said.
“We can’t have that kind of conversation with each other that we usually have, if you want to lend cash to someone or if you want to buy something from a local business,” he said.
The payment system will use Facebook Pay and is free for individual users, while businesses will be charged to receive payments.
Initially, the system will accept debit and credit card payments from Banco do Brasil, Nubank and Sicily, and is working with Silo to process payments.
Idema said the company was planning to bring a payment system to several other countries, but did not say which ones.