Facebook’s eCommerce push has been given a boost with Brazilian regulators finally approving the company’s plans for facilitating payments within WhatsApp.
Reuters reported: “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 and Mastercard card networks, months after vetoing WhatsApp’s initial attempt.”
Indeed, Facebook initially announced the launch of WhatsApp payments in Brazil last June, the first step towards making the nation’s most popular messaging app into an eCommerce tool.
WhatsApp users in Brazil can now send money to friends and family or pay a business right from your chat 💸💸💸 pic.twitter.com/BwrcCq9CJW
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) June 15, 2020
However, a week later, the launch was shut down, with Brazilian regulators citing concerns about the impact on the local mobile payments space, and the capacity to “preserve an adequate competitive environment”.
Anyhow, nine months later, Brazilian regulators have finally approved Facebook’s plan, which could pave the way for the next big shift in WhatsApp use, besides converting the app into an all-in-one connective powerhouse.
Needless to say that building such capacity has become the main focus for Facebook, with the added ability to shop and make payments in the app extending its use case, and making it a more necessary tool in some regions.
Moreover, Facebook’s working to build the same capacity in India, where it’s hoping to make WhatsApp an important tool in everyday life, also with payments now also available in Brazil, where WhatsApp has more than 120 million users, that’s another key step in building on the ubiquity of WhatsApp.
Talking more about WhatsApp payments, we can see that for many Brazilians, WhatsApp is already important. According to Statista, a survey conducted in January found that among Brazilian mobile internet users who had WhatsApp installed on their phones, 86% of respondents indicated that they use WhatsApp every day.
With that level of usage, you can see why Facebook is so interested to expand WhatsApp’s use case, and facilitating funds transfers and payments will enable WhatsApp to lean further into the eCommerce shift, fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to build on that reliance and market presence.
Talking more about WhatsApp payments, Facebook will be looking forward to opening up more business options within WhatsApp, besides connecting more businesses into these markets. Furthermore, payments are a big part of this, and this approval is a significant step in the next development of these tools.