WhatsApp Launches Electronic Trust Payments While Libra Remains Trapped in the Regulatory Maze


WhatsApp has launched electronic payments on its platform, and Brazil has become the first country to experience a nationwide launch.

According to a statement released on Monday by WhatsApp, users with Visa and Mastercard debit or credit cards from Banco do Brasil, Nubank or Sicredi can now attach instant payments to their messages.

There is an unspecified monetary limit imposed due to anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing concerns. In addition, WhatsApp users in Brazil cannot perform more than 20 transactions on the application per day.

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WhatsApp is reported to have over 120 million users in Brazil, or approximately 57% of the entire population of the country.

While the official press release does not mention any jurisdiction other than Brazil, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on his personal page that more countries are expected to „come soon.

Fiat, not crypto
Payments are implemented through Facebook Pay, a payment system developed in 2019 for Facebook affiliate applications such as Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

As the company has stressed in the past, Facebook Pay „builds on existing financial infrastructure and partnerships“ and is not related to the Novi (ex. Calibra) wallet that will operate in the Libra network.

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WhatsApp may use different payment systems for electronic trust payments in different countries. In India, where the messaging giant has been testing payments on the application for months, WhatsApp aims to use a locally developed solution called UPI, allegedly due to pressure from national regulators.

However, WhatsApp is expected to support Libra Coins at some point in the future. Unlike WhatsApp’s nationwide trust payments in countries like Brazil and India, Facebook has been marketing Libra as a global solution for the unbanked.

According to a May press release from Novi, a Facebook owned digital wallet will be integrated into WhatsApp once it is launched, supporting payments in stable internal currencies such as LibraUSD, LibraEUR and GBP, as well as a multi-currency currency called LBR.

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