WhatsApp has initially launched a payments service in Brazil that allows payments to be sent and paid within the WhatsApp platform.
While the service was tested in India, because of regulatory issues there the service has been officially launched in Brazil which has the second highest WhatsApp active user base of 120 million. The payment service is Facebook’s first step in monetizing WhatsApp, which has for years been completely free.
The service uses the parent companies Facebook Pay to facilitate the payments and offers free person to person payments, and a processing fee of 4% for businesses to take payments from consumers. Transactions through the platform will be encrypted end to end, and will also feature special identification codes or fingerprint verification to ensure that they are secure.
Given the automation that WhatsApp is capable of, this is very exciting news that could transform how companies do e-commerce. Companies could now offer a full e-commerce service including product listings, and payments on WhatsApp. The service has been long planned but recently accelerated to assist businesses or users that have been shut-in during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A video demonstrating how payments are done in Brazil
The payment service is setup by adding your credit card to WhatsApp and sending or requesting a payment through WhatsApp similar to how you atatch a photo or video.
In South Africa we now wait for the service to become available, and what options WhatsApp will make available in South Africa considering many of South African consumers are unbanked.