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WhatsApp Payment Feature, Test-Run Begins In Brazil

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WhatsApp has finally danced to tune of the market by launching its digital payment service. The Facebook-owned messaging service announced that users in Brazil would be the first beneficiary of its new payment feature.

Users will send and receive money via its messaging app, using the payment service that Facebook launched last year – Facebook Pay. Brazil, being the first beneficiary, will now set the ball rolling for this payment revolution that is about to hit the market. 

Although it’s in a trial phase, WhatsApp says that the payments service is free for consumers to use (that is, no commission fee taken) but businesses pay a 3.99% processing fee to receive payments. This will work by way of a six-digit PIN or fingerprint to complete transactions.

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What To Know About WhatsApp Payment Feature

The payment feature is used by linking your already existing WhatsApp account to any of your debit or credit card (Visa or Mastercard). Also, this is efficiently done through the aid of local partners like Banco do Brasil, Nubank, Sicredi, etc. Facebook also partnered with Cielo, a leading Brazilian payments processor.

In addition, the company’s main objective is to make it possible for WhatsApp users to send money just as easily as they send messages. Eventually, there will be a seamless use of user’s card information using Facebook Pay across Facebook’s subsidiary companies.

WhatsApp at first used Indian users for the initial testing phase for its payments service. WhatsApp tested the market via another system (UPI) and not Facebook Pay. Knowing fully well that the testing model in India with about 400 million monthly active users, hasn’t been fully optimized, WhatsApp decided to test it with their second-largest market – Brazil. Moreover, this is going to bring more businesses into the digital economy. It will also open up new opportunities for growth in the market space. 

This new feature is a head-start in building a revenue stream for WhatsApp and Facebook bast on its vast scale. WhatsApp has over 2 billion users. This is going to be a commercial plunge into a platform that is known for just chatting.

Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion. WhatsApp has been on a journey of looking for ways to monetise the platform. This led to the launch of WhatsApp Business, which lets Small Medium Businesses post catalogues and stock links within the app. Also, Facebook allows advertisers to create links to their Whatsapp accounts.

How Does This Affect The Financial Technology Space?

Facebook is gradually dominating the financial technology space. Sometime last year, Facebook told the World that it will be launching its own cryptocurrency (Libra) in 2020.

All of these moves are disruptive tendencies for the financial technology industry, especially in Nigeria. It will be a cut-throat competition for fintech companies in Nigeria.

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