Transfers via WhatsApp are expected to start in the coming weeks, says Mastercard By Reuters

Transfers via WhatsApp are expected to start in the coming weeks, says Mastercard By Reuters
Transfers via WhatsApp are expected to start in the coming weeks, says Mastercard By Reuters

© Reuters. Whatsapp

By Aluisio Alves

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Transfers of funds through WhatsApp are expected to start operating in Brazil in the coming weeks, after approval by the Central Bank the day before, said the president of Mastercard Brasil and Cone Sul, João Pedro Paro Neto on Wednesday .

“We were already working on a pilot, now it should work on a large scale in the coming weeks,” Paro Neto told Reuters in a telephone interview.

The BC guarantee is valid for transfers in debit mode with Visa and Mastercard cards and came about nine months after the partnership was barred. Brazil will be the second country to allow WhatsApp, Facebook’s messaging service, for financial transactions, behind India only.

In the country, transactions can be made between customer accounts at the banking institutions in which they are account holders. To access the service, users must register the numbers of the debit or prepaid cards.

The initialization of transactions has to be done by the person who transfers the funds, as in the case of PIX, the instant payment system launched by the BC in November. The intermediation of the operation between financial institutions will be carried out by the payments company Cielo (SA :).

Also as with the PIX, transfers via WhatsApp will be free for users, said Paro Neto, and will be instant and in the 24-hour scheme for seven, that is, at any time and every day of the year.

Since the BC authorized the operation of transfers in a period of testing only, Mastercard had been operating the transactions in partnership with Sicredi and Nubank, while rival Visa operated with Banco do Brasil (SA :).

A cap on the amounts that can be transferred via WhatsApp has not yet been set. The trend is for lower limits to be set, which would be raised gradually, allowing participants to make any necessary adjustments, said the executive.

Paro Neto avoided making projections on the speed of adoption of WhatsApp for transfers, but said that two characteristics of the model should make it competitive: fraud prevention mechanisms and the possibility of reversing transactions, which does not exist in the PIX.

“And it also has the convenience of making transactions without having to enter another application,” said the executive.


The attention of the institutions involved now turns to the Facebook Pay arrangement, which, among other features, allows the so-called P2M, including payments with credit cards, which are being analyzed by the BC.

Unlike transfers of funds between accounts, payment by credit card involves the inclusion of a series of additional data from tenants, such as the so-called bank address, information that is relevant for payment companies, who can use it for commercial strategies.

Currently, the arrangement for the use of Facebook Pay has only an agreement with Cielo as an acquirer and, according to market executives, the BC wants other companies in the sector to participate before authorizing the operation.

Paro Neto affirmed that the partners have already delivered to the BC all the documentation requested for analysis and evaluates that an approval may happen in the coming months. 2021-03-31T192803Z_1_LYNXMPEH2U1NM_RTROPTP_1_WHATSAPP.JPG

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