WhatsApp has started rolling out a Payments service in Brazil after successfully testing the product in India. It is the first time the service is being rolled out in any part of the world, as the app joins in the efforts to help businesses accept digital money.
The new product on WhatsApp will allow users to pay for items without leaving their chat. The Facebook owned app has unleashed a first just as Facebook announced development of Shops on its platform, allowing users to add items to cart and check-out on the business pages.
With the seamless integration between Facebook business and WhatsApp, the company is making it easier for shoppers to complete transactions on the social media network without being re-directed to external websites.
Facebook has in the past few months endeavoured to cushion small businesses by making the platform versatile while improving functionality in efforts to help small businesses gain traction especially after the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a report released by Facebook last month, 31 percent of small and medium sized businesses had shut down since March, and more businesses, especially small personal businesses were at risk of shutting down within the next few months.
Since then, Facebook has started developing Shops and is also testing an email feature to help small businesses market their products to their contacts. The introduction of the payment gateway on WhatsApp will also help generate more revenue as shoppers will not have to go off the app to complete their shopping.
Facebook business and WhatsApp can be integrated for communication support as well as a marketing extension whereby businesses run the same ads that they run on their page on WhatsApp.
“Over 10 million small and micro-businesses are at the heartbeat of Brazil’s communities. It’s become second nature to send a zap to business to get questions answered. Now in addition to viewing a store’s catalog, customers will be able to send payments for products as well.” The company wrote in a blog post.