WhatsApp is getting another crack at grabbing a slice of Brazil’s fast-growing payments market.
Facebook’s messaging service will soon get a green light to start providing peer-to-peer (P2P) payment services in Brazil, Roberto Campos Neto, head of the country’s central bank, said at a news conference Monday (Nov. 16), Reuters reported.
Campos Neto also noted Brazil’s central bank has talked to other Big Tech firms like Google about their interest in offering instant payments services in the country, Reuters reported.
The comments represent a significant about-face for Brazil’s central bank, which abruptly suspended WhatsApp’s mobile payments service in late June, just one week after it was launched.
The news that WhatsApp’s payment service will soon be unfrozen in Brazil came at a press conference held to discuss the roll out of the Brazilian central bank’s new platform for instant payments, Pix, Reuters reported.
“WhatsApp will start doing P2P soon,” Campos Neto said, per Reuters. “I have talked a lot with their CEO, we are making good progress. He has told me that the process [with us] was faster than in other countries.”
When Brazil’s central bank halted WhatsApp’s first bid to offer payments services, it cited concerns over preserving competition in the country’s emerging payments sector and ensuring data privacy protection.
Campos Neto alluded to the competition concerns again at Monday’s press conference, noting the bank’s “only concern is that we must go through all the approval criteria and that we have a system that fosters competition,” Reuters reported.
So, will WhatsApp’s payment service be allowed to operate within the central bank’s newly launched platform, Pix?
When asked that question, Campos Neto responded with a general statement that there would be room for other platforms, according to Reuters.
For its part, Brazil’s Pix instant payments platform debuted Monday morning, with 72 million registrations. The registrations included 1.8 million businesses and 30 million individuals, Reuters reported.