Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp messenger launched a payments feature in Brazil, has launched in-app payments in Brazil, after testing a beta version in India. The company announced in a blog post on Monday (via TechCrunch).
The payments are enabled through Facebook Pay, which parent company Facebook said last year it would be rolling out to Instagram, Messenger, Facebook, and finally on WhatsApp. Payments on WhatsApp will be free for users, whether sending to friends on the app or to pay a business for goods and services. Users will need to link a credit or debit card to their WhatsApp account, and transactions are secured with either fingerprint or a six-digit PIN.
Payments are a key element of WhatsApp’s long-term plan to offer commerce within the app — and Facebook has been testing and building its payments product for the past two years. More than 5 million traders around the world use a business version of the messenger app, and in countries like India and Brazil, WhatsApp serves as the main or only online presence for many merchants.
Facebook acquired WhatsApp for about $19 billion in 2014. As of February, the messaging service had more than 2 billion users.
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