Brazil Central Bank ices Facebook's WhatsApp payment service

Brazil Central Bank ices Facebook's WhatsApp payment service

"Even as we continue to work with our local partners and the Central Bank in Brazil, we remain committed to launching WhatsApp Payments in India", a WhatsApp spokesperson said.

Facebook rolled out WhatsApp payments service in Brazil on June 16 to over 120 million Brazilian users.

Banco Central do Brasil's pushback is a serious blow to Facebook's ambitions in the payment space, and mirrors the firm's difficulties in gaining regulatory approval in the vast Indian marketplace.

Launched initially in Brazil with a view to expanding into other territories, the service allowed users to transfer funds between one another via WhatsApp, but was live for less than two weeks.

While suspended, Brazil's central banks will reportedly assess whether or not the payment method meets the country's regulations.

"It is a bit odd that the central bank chose to suspend WhatsApp as the regulator is already able to oversee all market participants which joined WhatsApp", said Carlos Daltozo, co-head of equities at Eleven Financial.

Prem tactics preview: How Chelsea can cause problems for dominant Man City
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero will travel to Spain for further tests on a knee injury that threatens to his season.

In a separate setback for the venture on Tuesday, Brazil's antitrust watchdog, Cade, blocked WhatsApp's partnership with credit and debit card operator Cielo to process the payments.

It said that it will also work with Cielo, which is a payment processor in Brazil and will open the feature to more organizations in the future.

Last week, WhatsApp had told the Supreme Court it was fully compliant with the RBI's data localisation norms and had identified five data elements that would be stored locally.

The central bank's move comes as the regulator prepared to launch its own instant payments system in November, called Pix, joining more than 980 participants.

It also cited data privacy concerns. The suspension came as a surprise as it was reported that both WhatsApp and the Central Bank were in regular contact and have conducted tests prior to the launch of the payment feature.

Facebook and Visa did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Related Articles