WhatsApp starts payments in Brazil: Sign of things to come?

Facebook’s WhatsApp chat platform is launching mobile payments in Brazil, a country often used to test out new services because of its large online population.

WhatsApp said in a blog post Monday that users in Brazil will now be able to send money securely, or make a purchase from a local business, without leaving their chat.

Facebook will run digital payments on WhatsApp through Facebook Pay, the payments service launched last year that also works on its other apps, including Facebook and Instagram. The Brazil launch is the first time it’s being used on WhatsApp, a platform especially popular outside of the U.S.

WhatsApp Pay will be free for using to make purchases and send money. Facebook will charge a 3.99% processing fee per transaction to businesses.

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Facebook did not say when the tool may be available in other countries, just that it is looking “forward to bringing it to everyone as we go forward.”

The mobile payments push is part of Facebook’s strategy to expand to new sources of revenue beyond advertising.

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