In line with its plan to use Brazil as a key test market for business messaging, Meta Platforms (META.O) started rolling out its payments tool to small and medium-sized businesses using its WhatsApp messaging network in Brazil on Tuesday.
Because Meta’s core advertising business has slowed, the creation of corporate communications has become even more critical.
The service will enable WhatsApp users to make purchases and pay directly through the app with credit and debit cards from Mastercard and Visa thanks to partnerships with payment processors such as MercadoLibre’s (MELI.O) Mercado Pago, Itau Unibanco’s (ITUB4.SA) Rede, and Cielo (CIEL3.SA), Meta said in a statement.
The tool will first be accessible to some WhatsApp Business merchants. In the future, users of WhatsApp’s API—which mostly caters to big businesses—will be allowed to take payments.
While India, WhatsApp’s largest market, allows users to pay companies who use the application’s paid API, Brazil is the first country to offer the service for small businesses utilizing the free version of WhatsApp Business.
The announcement follows nearly three years of regulatory review by Brazil’s central bank, which last month approved the tool over concerns for the service’s potential to harm competition, efficiency, and data privacy.
Since 2021, WhatsApp users in Brazil have been able to transfer money between each other via the app. Also, last year, Meta introduced a commercial directory for WhatsApp in Brazil that lets users locate businesses with corporate messaging accounts.
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