In Brazil, 55% of the population believe Facebook is the whole internet. It’s therefore no surprise the company chose the nation for a pilot that let people pay one another via its messaging service WhatsApp.
Around 120 million people — accounting for more than 98% of Brazilian phones — have installed WhatsApp, giving Facebook plenty of traction in the country. Too much, said Brazil’s central bank. It pulled the plug in June, just a few days after the payment platform was launched, saying it wanted to ensure competition in the banking system. At the time, the WhatsApp payment platform had 1.5 million users and four banking partners — Banco do Brasil, Cielo, Nubank and Sicredi. Combined, they had 50 million customers to whom Facebook planned to gradually make the payment platform available.
On July 31, Reuters reported that the central bank was allowing some customers to make small payments through WhatsApp again. But the bank is still assessing the future of the platform as a whole — meaning Facebook’s dream of getting hundreds of millions of people using its digital wallet is tangled in complex arguments over Brazil’s over-concentrated banking system.
Full article at Business Insider’s website. Date of publication: 05/08/2020.