Central bank approves WhatsApp e-cash payments – Brazil

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s central bank on Tuesday cleared the way for Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service to let its users send each other funds using the Visa Inc and Mastercard card networks, according to a statement.

The central bank had initially suspended WhatsApp’s bid to allow users to send money via chats when it was first proposed last June, saying it could damage Brazil’s existing payments system in terms of competition, efficiency and data privacy.

“(We) are making the final preparations to have payments on WhatsApp available in Brazil as soon as possible,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement. The messaging platform has over 120 million users in Brazil.

Still, WhatsApp is only allowed to do peer-to-peer payments, not involving merchants. The regulatory approval also comes months after the central bank launched its own instant payments system in November, called Pix, which has since been widely adopted.

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