WhatsApp Pay which has been in testing for what seems like an eternity is finally being launched and strangely the launch won’t be in India where it has been tested for over 2 years. Instead WhatsApp Pay is being launched in Brazil.
Beta testers of the feature will be able to send and receive money on the popular chat application.
We’re excited to announce that starting today we’re bringing digital payments to WhatsApp users in Brazil. People will be able to send money securely or make a purchase from a local business without leaving their chat.WhatsApp blog
The feature will be free for normal users but those with business accounts will pay $3.99 processing fee. WhatsApp’s blog post also notes that WhatsApp payments will ride on Facebook Pay which makes sense since this will enable payments across all of Facebook’s other applications (Instagram and Facebook). WhatsApp alluded to this:
Because payments on WhatsApp are enabled by Facebook Pay, in the future we want to make it possible for people and businesses to use the same card information across Facebook’s family of apps.
Initially, WhatsApp payments will support Visa and Mastercards from 3 Brazilian banks and a Brazilian payments processing company – though they mention that the model is open and more partners will be added in future.
Transaction authorisation will require a 6-figure PIN or biometric authentication making it difficult for someone to purchase products using a phone that isn’t theirs.
When can the rest of the world expect this?
WhatsApp hasn’t disclosed which other markets will be getting Payments and that’s no surprise since they have to get government approval and then work with local financial institutions making it a complicated and context-specific feature.