Facebook-owned WhatsApp has launched a new in-app digital payment feature, with Brazil being first on the list of global locations to get it.

In an unexpected announcement showcased in a blog post, the company revealed that it is offering person-to-person payments with a just-activated version already available to users in the South American country.

The new WhatsApp digital payments service will allow you to make purchases from within the messenger software, although features will initially be confined to select debit and credit cards. However, the company aims to widen that reach to other partners as the service continues to be rolled out to additional countries.

Here’s the blog release in full: We’re excited to announce that starting today we’re bringing digital payments to WhatsApp users in Brazil. People will be able to send money securely or make a purchase from a local business without leaving their chat.

The over 10 million small and micro businesses are the heartbeat of Brazil’s communities. It’s become second nature to send a zap to a 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. Making payments simple can help bring more businesses into the digital economy, opening up new opportunities for growth.

In addition, we’re making sending money to loved ones as easy as sending a message, which could not be more important as people are physically distant from one another. Because payments on WhatsApp are enabled by Facebook Pay, in the future we want to make it possible for people and businesses to use the same card information across Facebook’s family of apps.

Secure payments

We have built payments with security in mind and a special six digit PIN or fingerprint will be required to prevent unauthorized transactions. To start, we will support debit or credit cards from Banco do Brasil, Nubank, and Sicredi on the Visa and Mastercard networks -and we are working with Cielo, the leading payments processor in Brazil. We have built an open model to welcome more partners in the future.

Sending money or making a purchase on WhatsApp is free for people. Businesses will pay a processing fee to receive customer payments, similar to what they may already pay when accepting a credit card transaction. 

Payments on WhatsApp are beginning to roll out to people across Brazil beginning today and we look forward to bringing it to everyone as we go forward.

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