WhatsApp users in Brazil will now be able to send money to their local contacts or businesses through the instant messaging application. Considering that this same nation had been stifled in the e-commerce sector due to most people being unbanked, this can lead to an explosion of new opportunities.

The company recently launched its online payment service, which it had already tested in India in early 2018 and has now been introduced in Brazil, becoming the first nationwide to allow direct payment to a local business via a WhatsApp message.

As explained by the company in a statement, this new functionality will be introduced in the apps of all users in Brazil gradually.

Matt Idema, WhatsApp's Chief Operating Officer, said in a statement to Reuters, "We are very excited to bring payments on WhatsApp to our users throughout Brazil," adding that the service of sending and receiving money is very important these days, referring to the coronavirus crisis.

"Small businesses are the backbone of the country. The ability to make sales easily will help business owners adapt to the digital economy, driving growth and financial recovery," he said.

Using this new WhatsApp service is very simple, as it would involve attaching the payment as if it were a photograph or a video. Before that, however, it must be said that debit or credit cards from several financial institutions based in the country, such as Banco do Brasil, Nubank and Sicredi can be used on the Visa and Mastercard networks, working with Cielo, a payment processor.

These payments are enabled by Facebook Pay so that people can use this card information across the Facebook family of apps and the transfers are more than secure, as they have several layers of security, such as the Facebook Pay PIN, among others.

Person-to-person transfers can be made through debit cards, excluding credit cards, although there is a limit per transaction and a maximum amount of operations to be carried out during the day, and there is also a monthly limit.

However, the situation changes if payment is made to businesses, as the use of credit cards would be allowed and there would be no limits. However, the authorization of transactions is only allowed within Brazil and in local currency.

Similarly, no fees will be charged to consumers for making transfers or purchases.

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