WhatsApp fights for Brazil money future - Mobile World Live

WhatsApp fights for Brazil money future

26 JUN 2020

WhatsApp scrambled to rescue its ailing mobile payments play, opening talks with Brazil’s central bank regarding restoring the service, which was suspended barely a week after launch.

In a statement, WhatsApp head Will Cathcart said Banco Central do Brasil intended to “find a path for the service to proceed by working with Visa and Mastercard” along with “other authorities” to address issues with the service.

The company cited the economic impact of Covid-19 (coronavirus) as evidence of the need for digital payment platforms, with Cathcart stating the business supported “a pro-competitive, open payments model” alongside the central bank’s PIX platform “when it becomes available.”

Visa and Mastercard were earlier ordered to halt support for the WhatsApp system, effectively stopping the service in its tracks after eight days of operation.

Adding to WhatsApp’s woes was a move by competition authority Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Economica (CADE), which issued an injunction on a partnership with local credit card company Cielo.

In a statement, CADE cited Cielo’s existing high market share, explaining the WhatsApp collaboration could result in it garnering “significant market power”.

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Manny Pham

Manny joined Mobile World Live in September 2019 as a reporter based in London. He has previous experience in telecoms having worked for B2B publication Mobile News for three years where he climbed up to the position of Features Editor....

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