WhatsApp Suspends Digital Payment Feature In Brazil After Central Bank’s Mandate
Last week, the new WhatsApp digital payment feature got a lot of people talking but Brazil’s Central Bank has now forced the company to suspend the feature. See the details surrounding this story in the article below.
At the time of the launch, WhatsApp digital platform had generated mixed reactions from people. The overwhelming majority had appreciated the feature as it promised ease of payments for businesses and transfers between individuals.
However, according to a Bloomberg release earlier today, 24th June 2020, the Central Bank of Brazil has suspended the WhatsApp digital payment feature.
The authorities associated with the Bank said that they were suspending WhatsApp payments “[to] preserve an adequate competitive environment, that ensures the functioning of a payment system that’s interchangeable, fast, secure, transparent, open and cheap.”
It also directed that MasterCard and Visa stop allowing financial activities on their platforms via the app. Otherwise, they would face a fine. As of when this article was published, the Bank’s authorities have given no further explanation.
They only added that they would evaluate the possible risks; before allowing WhatsApp to resume operating the digital payment service in Brazil.
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While this is a suspension and not an outright ban; it still could hamper Facebook’s aim of turning WhatsApp into an e-commerce platform. A WhatsApp representative said:
“Our goal is to provide digital payments to all WhatsApp users in Brazil using an open model and we will continue to work with local partners and the Central Bank to make this possible.
“In addition, we support the Central Bank’s PIX project on digital payments and together with our partners are committed to work with the Central Bank to integrate our systems when PIX becomes available.”
Also, since Brazil’s Central Bank had been aware of the development from the onset, according to an unnamed insider’s testimony; the suspension surprised WhatsApp executives as well.
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