Brazil has suspended WhatsApp Pay, the newly launched payment system by Whatsapp. The system is only a week old, following Facebook’s launch of the service last week. Brazil was the first market to have the payment service, with plans by Fcaebook for a gradual global roll out.
Brazil central bank issued a statement ordering Visa and Mastercard to suspend a joint project with Whatsapp to roll out digital payments in the app, claiming it would be anti-competitive.
In a statement, the Central Bank said the service had been rolled out before the monetary authority undertook proper analysis and could result in damages to the Brazilian payments system in terms of efficiency, competition and data privacy.
“The reason for the central bank’s decision is to preserve an adequate competitive environment, ensuring an interoperable, fast, secure, transparent, open and economical payment system,” read the statement.
Whatsapp Pay allows users to transfer funds to other Whatsapp users within a chat by attaching the payments as they would a photo or a video.
Brazil has about 120 million Whatsapp users, which is second to Indiawhich has about 300 million. Brazil and was the pilot country for the newly integrated payment feature by Facebook Pay, with plans to roll out worldwide soon.
It is unclear whether Visa, Mastercard or Whatsapp have complied with the Central Bank directive.