WhatsApp money transfer now up and running in Brazil

WhatsApp money transfer now up and running in Brazil

WhatsApp money transfer is back on track in Brazil. The Facebook-owned messaging service relaunched its person-to-person money transfer services in Brazil early this week.

There is no charge for the transfer service. Merchant payments, which might involve charges, have not yet been approved by the regulatory authorities.

The first launch of the service was halted in June last year after Brazil’s central bank ordered the scheme’s partners, Visa and Mastercard, to stop payments and transfers via the system, suggested that rolling out the service without previous analysis by the monetary authority could damage the Brazilian payments system.

To meet regulatory requirements Facebook has had to create a new unit called Facebook Pagamentos do Brasil, which is regulated by the central bank.

WhatsApp has an estimated 120 million users in Brazil, all of whom could, in theory, use debit cards or pre-paid cards to send each other up to 5,000 reais ($921) per month via WhatsApp.

In reality there will be a limit of 1,000 reais per transaction or 20 transfers per day – at least for now – and the rollout of the new feature will be phased. How many WhatsApp users will be allowed access to the payment tool – and thereby be able to invite new users – has not been announced.

According to Reuters, the service will operate with cards issued by Banco do Brasil SA, Banco Inter, Banco Bradesco SA, Itau Unibanco Holding SA, fintech Nubank, MercadoLibre's Mercado Pago and Sicredi.

Brazil is now the second country in which the messaging service offers money transfers, alongside India.

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