Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

WhatsApp launches new digital payments feature in Brazil

Published Jun 15th, 2020 10:14PM EDT
WhatsApp Payments
Image: Martin Meissner/AP/Shutterstock

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

  • WhatsApp payments are now available to users in Brazil, allowing them to send money to friends and family from inside WhatsApp chats, or pay for goods at supported retailers.
  • The transactions are protected by six-digit pins or a fingerprint and are free of charge for users. Only businesses pay a commission, similar to fees for credit card transactions.
  • WhatsApp users will have to link a valid debit card or credit card to their profile to enable the feature, and payments are completed with Facebook Pay.

It’s no secret that Facebook has a bold plan to revolutionize money transfers by leveraging the power of the blockchain to offer nearly instant transactions across borders. But Facebook’s cryptocurrency has met plenty of resistance from regulators, and it’ll be a while until the payment system is up and running.

Until then, Facebook will offer users a different way to send money to their contacts and even pay for goods online. Powered by Facebook Pay, WhatsApp now has its own digital payments system in place, and if you happen to be reading this in Brazil, you can check out the new feature right now.

WhatsApp is Facebook’s most expensive bet so far, with a price tag of $19 billion. However, WhatsApp is also one of the most popular chat apps in the world, supporting more than two billion people across platforms. WhatsApp is Facebook’s only chat app that supports end-to-end encryption, and it will be integrated into the company’s future universal chat system that will include Facebook Messenger and Instagram.

WhatsApp piloted a payment service in India, but the first market to see it in operation will be Brazil. WhatsApp said in an announcement that users in Brazil will be able to send payments to local businesses directly from the app. The feature will also support money transfers to family and friends.

WhatsApp Payments
WhatsApp payments feature demoed on Android. Image source: WhatsApp

Transfers between people will be available free of charge, while payments for goods will be subject to a processing fee paid by businesses. These commissions will be similar to what they pay when accepting credit card transactions. The transactions are protected via six-digit PINs or a fingerprint, the report notes, but not Face ID.

Initially, the feature will support Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards issued by Banco do Brasil, Nubank, and Sicredi. Cielo, the leading payment processor in Brazil, processes payments.

The feature is only rolling out in Brazil, so you won’t get to test it anywhere else. WhatsApp has a page that offers a visual demo of the new payments feature if you want to see what it looks like.  It’s likely the feature will be available in other markets once Facebook clears regulatory hurdles, but the company didn’t reveal any other markets. Facebook Pay could be used in the future to support payments across the unified chat system the company is working on.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

Latest News