WhatsApp is introducing the ability for users to directly pay businesses through chat in Brazil. This means that people in the country can have end-to-end shopping experiences, from discovery to payments, within the app. This move finally unlocks the merchant payment market in Brazil for WhatsApp.
Mark Zuckerberg made this announcement in a post saying that the company is rolling out the ability for users to “pay local businesses right in a WhatsApp chat.”
“This seamless and secure checkout experience will be a game-changer for people and small businesses looking to buy and sell on WhatsApp without having to go to a website, open another app or pay in person. We’re rolling out today to a small number of businesses and will be available to many more in the coming months,” the company said in the announcement.
Until now, users were able to make peer-to-peer transactions through WhatsApp Pay in Brazil. But due to regulatory restrictions, Meta wasn’t able to roll out this ability to make purchases through merchants. Shops could use a third-party payment service to generate a payment link and include it in a WhatsApp message but this wasn’t a seamless experience for either the merchant or the shopper.
There is no data on how many small businesses there are on WhatsApp right now. The company last announced in 2020 that more than 5 million businesses in Brazil use WhatsApp.
Last year, WhatsApp rolled out a Yellow Pages-like “Directory” feature in Brazil that allowed users to search for different kinds of businesses, ranging from food and drink to travel. Combining these two capabilities, users can search for different businesses, add items they want to buy, and pay the merchant within the app.
WhatsApp said that users can make a payment through Mastercard and Visa debit, credit and pre-paid cards issued by “numerous” participating banks. To accept these payments, businesses can link a service provider like Cielo, Mercado Pago or Rede to their account. These companies had already built the technical infrastructure for peer-to-peer payment over WhatsApp in Brazil.
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