Facebook unveiled a new payments service in Brazil

Facebook is forging ahead with plans to capitalise on emerging markets and bring ecommerce to its platforms, launching a WhatsApp-based digital payments service for the messaging app’s 120 million Brazilian users. WhatsApp, the popular messaging app acquired by Facebook in 2014, on Monday unveiled a new payments service, WhatsApp Pay, which will allow users to send money to one another for free or make purchases from small businesses, without ever leaving the chat platform. The Brazil launch is the first nationwide rollout of payments on WhatsApp, and follows chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s comments earlier this year that the company would prioritise introducing the feature in four markets: Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia and India… The move comes as Facebook continues its push to facilitate more shopping on the platform, allowing it to gather data around spending patterns, and to compete with ecommerce giant Amazon… In India, WhatsApp’s efforts to launch a digital payments service have been held up by regulators, including the country’s central bank, for two years, despite a testing initiative. It said the app was still waiting for regulatory approval but was aiming to launch as soon as possible in the market. In April, Facebook announced that it would pay $5.7 billion for a 10 per cent stake in Indian telecoms group Reliance Jio… 

Hannah Murphy