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WhatsApp restores digital payments in Brazil a year after it was blocked

Just a few days after it launched a digital payments feature in Brazil, WhatsApp had to comply with an order from the country's central bank and antitrust regulator to halt the service. The suspension was intended to maintain competition in the country's payment system.

Almost a year later, WhatsApp is now allowed to resume digital money transfers in Brazil. The Facebook-owned firm has relaunched the service only for peer-to-peer transactions. The rollout will be done in phases, meaning it won't be immediately available to everyone from the very start.

Initially, only a small number of users will be able to transfer funds through the chat service, with the ability to invite other users into the payment service as well. They can send up to 5,000 Brazilian reais (~$918) per month at no charge. Moreover, there are limitations to the daily transactions: users can process only up to 1,000 Brazilian reais (~$184) for each transfer and they won't be able to make more than 20 transfers per day.

For now, the digital payment feature only works for peer-to-peer transfers, although WhatsApp had originally targeted the service at small and micro businesses that use its platform to run their daily operations. Brazil's central bank has yet to approve digital transactions with merchants, and it could come with additional charges. At the moment, Facebook is in talks with the central bank, with the merchant payment service expected to launch sometime this year.

Source: Reuters

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