The first country to get WhatsApp pay is the South American nation of Brazil even though many thought it would first launch in India. We know WhatsApp had been working on launching its pay service but it looks like the Facebook owned instant messaging service has decided to launch the service powered by Facebook Pay which is already being used in about 40 countries around the world.
But what makes the announcement interesting is that it will be welcome by many businesses who conduct their businesses primarily via WhatsApp Business. Many businesses in the developing world have come to rely on this service as WhatsApp usage continues to grow around the world. WhatsApp Business allows users sign up and create product catalogues in addition to adding their website and other information for customers to see. By launching in a nation like Brazil, it gives hope to other users in developing nations that such a service will soon launch in their locations as well. This means ease of doing business when users can pay for goods and services right within the app without having to click any link to a third-party tool. With WhatsApp projected to have about 2.7 billion users by the end of 2020, it only makes sense to bring in more features for business users and from a business perspective for Facebook, monetise the app.
The plan is to offer a free user to user transactions while taking a small fee for businesses receiving money just like most other payment gateways.
To safely process payments WhatsApp will require a private six-digit PIN or fingerprint for authorisation. For now, only Banco do Brasil, Nubank, and Sicredi on the Visa and Mastercard networks will be able to use the service. WhatsApp is also working to partner with Cielo in future as well. These are the major payment processors in Brazil according to Facebook.
In a post by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “Brazil is the first country where we’re widely rolling out payments in WhatsApp. More to come soon!”. You can expect this to be launched in many more developing nations soon.