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WhatsApp launches payments feature for SMEs and individuals in Brazil

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WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned instant messaging application has launched digital payments to WhatsApp users in Brazil in a move expected to disrupt mobile payments globally.

WhatsApp will allow users to send money securely or make a purchase from a local business without leaving their chat, something China’s WeChat has been doing for years.

“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,” announced the firm.

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WhatsApp is also 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, the firm aims to make it possible for people and businesses to use the same card information across Facebook’s family of apps.

For security, there is a special mix of a six digit PIN or fingerprint required to prevent unauthorized transactions. The platform is now supporting debit or credit cards from Banco do Brasil, Nubank, and Sicredi on the Visa and Mastercard networks. The firm is also working with payment processor Cielo in Brazil and is open to several others.

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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 and then to everyone.

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Recently, WhatsApp launched group video and voice calls t support 8 participants to help families stay in touch with each other during the COVID-19 pandemic isolation. Earlier, the firm’s group calling was limited to just 4 people.

“Over the last month, people on average are spending over 15 billion minutes talking each day on WhatsApp calls, well above a typical day before the pandemic. And just like written messages, all those calls are protected with end-to-end encryption. We have built group calling in a way that makes it available for as many users as possible, including people on lower-end devices and slow network conditions,” announced WhatsApp.

To access the new, higher participant limit on WhatsApp calls, all participants in a call need to update to the latest version of WhatsApp available on iPhone or Android today. Ask your friends and family to update WhatsApp to try it out.

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