WhatsApp also plans to launch payment services in India, Indonesia, and Mexico.
WhatsApp launched its digital payment service in Brazil, allowing its user to transfer funds without any charge. Brazil is the world’s second-largest market for WhatsApp after India with 120 million users in the country. The tech giant wants to benefit from the growing small business culture in Brazil.
According to an official blog about the development, the payment service will help further the local digital economy stronger. “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,” the blog read.
Founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg had spelled out plans to roll out payment platforms in India, Indonesia, and Mexico in January. WhatsApp payments have been trialed in India, where the app has 400 million users, but the process has hit a snag due to regulatory problems.
The payment option will be functional across all Facebook platforms. “Because payments on WhatsApp are enabled by Facebook Pay, in the future we want to make it possible for people and businesses to use the same card information across Facebook’s family of apps,” according to the blog.
Facebook has been investing in international companies recently, a move possibly tied with the current expansion plans. These include a 10% stake purchase in India’s telecoms group Reliance Jio for $5.7b. The company also acquired a stake in Indonesian ride-hailing service Gojek for an undisclosed amount. The firms will use the partnership to further Gojek’s digital payments service GoPay.