Brazilian central bank gives Meta the go-ahead to launch WhatsApp business payments feature
Tech titan Meta has received authorisation from the Central Bank of Brazil to launch a new feature that will enable customers to make payments to small businesses via its messaging service WhatsApp.
Announcing the news on Twitter, Meta’s head of WhatsApp Will Cathcart writes: “Soon, Brazilians will be able to browse products, add them to a cart and make secure payments to small businesses right from a chat with your credit or debit card.”
Meta’s head of commerce and financial technologies Stephane Kasriel adds that the firm has “prioritised an open model” and is currently testing the feature with “several partners”. A definitive date for the rollout has yet to be confirmed.
Brazil’s central bank approved peer-to-peer (P2P) payments via WhatsApp Pay back in 2021 after blocking the service just a week after its initial launch in June 2020. The latest decision now gives Meta the green light to enable merchant payments as well as it looks to expand its services in the country and tap into its growing digital economy.
In the summer of last year, Meta ended the pilot of its digital wallet project Novi, initially designed as a digital wallet to help people send and hold Meta’s proposed Libra (later Diem) digital currency, after the Diem Association sold its intellectual property and tech assets related to its “blockchain-based payment network infrastructure” to San Diego’s Silvergate Capital in a $182 million deal.