Brazil’s central bank suspends WhatsApp payments

The Brazilian Central Bank has suspended WhatsApp payments, citing competition concerns, just over a week after the messaging app's payment service launched in the country.

In statement, the central bank said the decision had been taken to allow it to evaluate potential risks to the country’s payment infrastructure and to establish whether WhatsApp complies with domestic regulation, according to Bloomberg News.

The bank has requested that Mastercard and Visa stop providing transfers and payments on the app.

The statement explained that the central bank took the action to “preserve an adequate competitive environment, that ensures the functioning of a payment system that’s interchangeable, fast, secure, transparent, open and cheap".

Brazil is the app’s second largest market after India, with more than 120 million users.

WhatsApp launched the payments service - which enables individuals and businesses to make and receive payments on the messaging app - in India as a beta in 2018 and has since tested it in Mexico.

The decision of a major monetary authority to halt the rollout is a blow to Facebook’s plans to move into financial services, which have been met with resistance from regulators.

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