WhatsApp users in Brazil can now pay merchants through the app

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WhatsApp introduces the ability for users to pay businesses directly through chat in Brazil. This means people in the country can have end-to-end shopping experiences, from discovering to paying, within the app. This move finally unlocks the merchant payment market in Brazil for WhatsApp.

Mark Zuckerberg made this announcement in a post saying the company is rolling out the ability for users to “pay local businesses directly in a WhatsApp chat.”

“This seamless and secure payment experience will be a breakthrough for people and small businesses who want to buy and sell on WhatsApp without going to a website, opening another app or paying in person. We are rolling out to a small number of companies today and will be available to many more in the coming months,” the company said in the announcement.

Until now, users could make peer-to-peer transactions through WhatsApp Pay in Brazil. But due to legal restrictions, Meta was unable to roll out this ability to make purchases through merchants. Stores could use a third-party payment service to generate a payment link and embed it in a WhatsApp message, but this was not a seamless experience for both merchant and customer.

There is no data on how many small businesses are currently on WhatsApp. The company last announced in 2020 that more than 5 million businesses in Brazil use WhatsApp.

Last year, WhatsApp in Brazil introduced a Yellow Pages-like “Dictionary” feature that allowed users to search for different types of businesses, ranging from food and drink to travel. By combining these two capabilities, users can search for different businesses, add items they want to purchase, and pay the merchant within the app.

WhatsApp said users can make a payment through Mastercard and Visa debit, credit and prepaid cards issued by “numerous” participating banks. To accept these payments, companies can link a service provider such as Cielo, Mercado Pago or Rede to their account. These companies had already built the technical infrastructure for peer-to-peer payment via WhatsApp in Brazil.

The company debuted an end-to-end shopping experience with Reliance Jio in India, allowing customers to order groceries through the app. According to reports, JioMart saw an increase in active users who came to shop through WhatsApp.

In February, Zuckerberg stated that this is a “year of efficiency” for Meta, indicating the company would focus on cutting costs and generating more revenue. So now is the right time for merchant payment services to debut in the country with over 120 million WhatsApp users.

In recent years, people in Brazil have adopted digital payments at a rapid pace. Data suggests that more than 124 multiple people used Pix — an instant payments platform operated by the country’s central bank — last year.

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