- Facebook added mobile payments to WhatsApp in Brazil, letting businesses accept digital payments through the popular chat platform, according to a company blog post. Shoppers in the country can now use WhatsApp to browse merchants’ product catalogs and make payments directly in the app.
- WhatsApp Pay supports debit or credit cards from Banco do Brasil, Nubank and Sicredi on Visa or Mastercard’s payment networks. WhatsApp also is working with Cielo, Brazil’s biggest credit and debit card operator, to process payments, per the blog post.
- Businesses pay a processing fee of 3.99% for each transaction, which is free to WhatsApp users, the Associated Press reported. WhatsApp also lets people transfer money to other users of the chat app.
Facebook’s introduction of payments on WhatsApp is a significant step that likely will affect more mobile marketers as the company expands the service to other markets. WhatsApp has 2 billion users worldwide, as revealed in February — a vast user base that has significant potential to support e-commerce for mobile marketers including direct-to-consumer brands. Mobile marketers can create catalogs within WhatsApp and link their Facebook ads to their WhatsApp accounts. The addition of mobile payments can help to close the loop between showcasing products and making direct sales.
For Facebook, the addition of payments is a way to diversify its revenue away from advertising while monetizing WhatsApp. While Facebook sells ads on its main social network and its Instagram photo-sharing app, it scrapped controversial plans to sell ads in WhatsApp earlier this year. Instead, Facebook can monetize WhatsApp with transactions fees that have enormous potential as more people adopt mobile payments in response to concerns about handling cash and spreading germs.
The mobile payments market is forecast to grow to $4.69 trillion by 2025 from $1.13 trillion last year, per Mordor Research, driving growth for services such as PayPal, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, AliPay and WeChat Pay. Facebook can participate in that growing market by expanding WhatsApp Pay and Facebook Pay to more regions.
WhatsApp’s introduction of mobile payments in Brazil is somewhat of a surprise, considering Facebook for the past few years has tested a payments service in India, where it has 400 million users, BBC reported. However, Facebook has faced bureaucratic hurdles that have prevented a wider rollout. Like other tech companies that have sought a foothold in the country, Facebook invested in an Indian company to gain greater local expertise. The company in April invested $5.7 billion in Jio Platforms, which is owned by the Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries. India is likely to remain a high-growth market for Facebook, amid growing competition from companies like ByteDance, whose TikTok video-sharing app is popular in the country.