Last week, Facebook announced the launch of WhatsApp Pay for Brazil. This feature allows payments to be made on WhatsApp. In the absence of Libra, it seems that Facebook still wants to be part of the Fintech ecosystem, but the authorities don’t seem to appreciate it.
The downside of the Central Bank
The story had started well for WhatsApp Pay and its 120 million potential customers, but it was short-lived.
Unfortunately for Marc Zuckerberg’s company, the Brazilian Central Bank simply suspended the application. To block it, the Central Bank issued a formal notice to Visa and MasterCard, ordering them to stop making payments.
According to the press release, the Central Bank banned WhatsApp Pay for competition reasons:
“The Central Bank’s motivation for this decision is to preserve an appropriate competitive environment that ensures an interoperable, fast, secure, transparent, open and inexpensive payment system. “said the statement.
As a first step, the Central Bank warned interested parties, promising punitive fines and administrative sanctions in case of non-compliance with the decision. Subsequently, it blocked the partnership between WhatsApp and Cielo, the service that handled payments.
WhatsApp’s spokesperson announced that they would continue to work with “local partners and the central bank” to make the payment service available again. To be continued.