Facebook reportedly reinstated its money transfer service through messaging app WhatsApp in Brazil, after nearly a year-long suspension by the central bank over competition and privacy concerns.

Reuters reported the service began operating on Tuesday (4 May) for payments between individual users following local authorities’ approval.

Transfers with merchants, which are said to be a paid service, are still pending approval and their launch is expected later this year.

The payments feature will be rolled out gradually, starting with a limited number of users which will be able to invite more people to the service, COO of WhatsApp Matthew Idema told Reuters.

Facebook launched its WhatsApp payments service in Brazil in June 2020, making the country its first market with full nationwide availability of the offering.

However, just over a week later it was blocked by Banco Central do Brasil to assess the risks of the move to its payments system SPB and its compliance with various related laws.

The launch also generated competition, efficiency and data privacy concerns.

WhatsApp rolled out its payments service in India in November 2020, after a long-running regulatory battle.