Facebook has surely been making various efforts to fully venture into the world of digital payment. This was made clear by the recent launch of the WhatsApp Pay service. After months of testing, the feature was finally launched in Brazil, the app’s second-biggest market (120 million users).
Unfortunately, the payment service is facing scrutiny a week after what was expected to be a game-changer for the messaging platform.
As reported by Bloomberg, this decision was made by the Brazilian Central Bank to ensure adequate competition in the payment system market.
Knowing how popular WhatsApp across the globe, there was no doubt that the payment feature would take off even in Brazil. The likes of Visa and MasterCard had already jumped in on the prospect so as not to miss on the flight. So the suspension is obviously a big setback for Facebook in its attempt to have the feature tested before its global launch.
However, Bloomberg notes that the bank authorities will use this suspension period to evaluate potential risks to the country’s payment infrastructure and work out whether WhatsApp is compliant with regulation.
“Our goal is to provide digital payments to all WhatsApp users in Brazil using an open model and we will continue to work with local partners and the Central Bank to make this possible,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.
This comes about a month after payment feature was also rejected earlier in WhatsApp’s biggest market India its beta launch. This, according to TechCrunch, was because the service didn’t comply with the country’s payment regulations and norms.
Because of that, Facebook has revealed that it has struggled to gain regulatory approval for the service, preventing a wider rollout.
There is still hope for the company to straighten up and adjust to the local regulations in Brazil and India but it would take quite a while.
And considering that Facebook is focusing mostly on its largest market, the likelihood of it rolling out to Kenya seem to be fading right now.