WhatsApp launches new digital payments feature

WhatsApp on Monday launched a new feature: person-to-person payments.

The payments are enabled through Facebook Pay, which the parent company Facebook said last year it would be rolling out on Instagram, Messenger, Facebook, and eventually WhatsApp.

In a post on WhatsApp blog, the company said the service is being rolled out in Brazil first and will enable people to send money or make a purchase from a local business without leaving their WhatsApp chat.

“Today we are starting to launch payments for people using WhatsApp. We are making sending and receiving money as easy as sharing photos. We are also enabling small businesses to make sales right within WhatsApp,” reads the post.

There will be no fees for consumers to use the payments service, but merchants will pay a processing fee to receive payments.

Users need to link a credit or debit card to their WhatsApp account, and transactions are secured with either fingerprint or a six-digit PIN.

WhatsApp tested the payment system in India beginning in 2018. The launch in Brazil will be the first nationwide rollout and will introduce the ability to directly pay a business.

WhatsApp is encrypted end-to-end, and is the most popular mobile messaging app in the world with more than 1.5 billion monthly users around the world, according to market tracker Statistica.

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