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WhatsApp payments are finally coming back to Brazil after government suspension

WhatsApp payments are finally coming back to Brazil after government suspension


The service was initially launched in June 2020

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A photo of an iPhone running WhatsApp.
Photo by Thomas Ricker / The Verge

WhatsApp is again rolling out its payments service in Brazil, after the service was suspended by Brazil’s Central Bank in June of 2020 a few days after it launched there. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement in a video aired in Brazil, where he spoke about how the payment information added to WhatsApp will also be able to be used on Facebook and Instagram.

According to David Marcus the head of Facebook Financial, the service returning to Brazil will be part of a “gradual rollout,” but it seems like the company is serious about it returning: it’s already posted a video promoting the service, and has published a page that states the underlying Facebook Pay system has been authorized by the Central Bank (Facebook is WhatsApp’s parent company).

When the service originally launched in Brazil, the country’s central bank suspended it, citing concerns about competition in the payment system market. The bank said it planned to evaluate whether the service was compliant with regulations, despite the fact that Facebook said it had been in contact with the authority before the launch.

In late March of this year, it was reported by Reuters that the bank had approved the service, after Facebook had obtained formal approval to run payments. According to a press release, WhatsApp users will be able to connect debit, prepaid or combo cards from several banks that are working with its payment processor.