Bloomberg Línea — WhatsApp will start making payments to businesses in Brazil from Tuesday, Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced.
“People in Brazil will be able to pay local businesses directly in a WhatsApp chat. We will be rolling out this feature to more businesses in the coming months,” said Zuckerberg in a Facebook post.
According to Meta, it will be possible to pay for goods and services using Mastercard and Visa debit, credit, and prepaid cards. Small businesses using the WhatsApp Business app can link a compatible payment partner, such as Cielo, Mercado Pago, or Rede, and create an order within the app to accept payments from their customers securely.
On March 2, Meta’s messaging service received authorization from Brazil’s central bank to operate payments to small and medium-sized businesses.
“Payments and financial services are very hot topics in Latin America right now. There is a great need for payment solutions in the region, in Brazil, in Mexico, and there is a big opportunity for various players in the financial ecosystem,” said Maren Lau, Meta’s vice president for Latin America, in an interview with Bloomberg Línea.
According to Lau, Meta tested the service of payments to businesses via WhatsApp with a small number of partner companies, such as Cielo - which is the payment intermediary for transactions between individuals - and networks, such as Mastercard and Visa.
“We have been working closely with the central bank of Brazil in recent months. We are very grateful for their guidance,” she said.
“We have worked closely with the card brands and acquirers, and payments to businesses through WhatsApp will provide a means for people to connect with small and medium-sized businesses throughout Brazil,” she added.
Lau did not disclose the adoption of person-to-person payments through WhatsApp, a service that was initially announced by Meta in 2020 but only received approval from Brazilian authorities after the launch - and widespread adoption - of Pix, the Brazilian central bank’s instant payment system.
Meta is betting on Latin America with its messaging platforms WhatsApp and Messenger and how they can be used for business.
In Brazil, Meta has a partnership for chatbots with Brazilian company Take Blip, a startup that provides communication solutions between brands and consumers on WhatsApp and Instagram.
Following Meta’s lead, Take Blip announced the start of its operations in Mexico on Monday.
According to a survey conducted by Take Blip, it is expected that by 2028, WhatsApp will be used by over 80% of the Mexican population with smartphones, a growth of 11% compared to 2022. For Instagram, Take Blip predicts a 60% growth in the number of users between 2022 and 2028.