WhatsApp launched its in-app payments service in Brazil earlier this month, but less than two weeks after its debut, it has been suspended in the country. The reason being cited by Brazil’s Central Bank is the need for maintaining a competitive environment, which is more or less the same reason why the service is yet to receive regulatory approval in India after being in beta testing since 2018.
As per a Bloomberg report, the impetus for Central Bank’s move to suspend the payments service is to ensure a competitive environment and to assess the risks it poses.”The BC’s motivation for the decision is to preserve an adequate competitive environment, which ensures the functioning of an interoperable, fast, secure, transparent, open, and cheap payment system”, said the bank in a statement.
Effective immediately, partners Visa and MasterCard have been ordered to stop facilitating transactions via WhatsApp’s payments service, failing which they’ll incur heavy fines. The Bank says it will assess any risks to the proper functioning of the Brazilian Payment System (SPB), and notes that WhatsApp’s solution might cause “irreparable damage to the SPB, notably with regard to competition, efficiency and data privacy.”