BRASILIA (Reuters) – WhatsApp, Facebook Inc’s messaging service, will soon enter the Brazilian market by providing peer-to-peer (P2P) payment services, central bank president Roberto Campos Neto said Monday.
In a press conference marking the launch of the new instant payment platform “PIX”, Campos Neto also said the central bank has held talks with Google and other “big technology” companies about entering the instant payments market in Brazil.
“WhatsApp will soon start doing P2P. I have spoken a lot with their CEO, we are making great progress. He told me that the process (with us) is faster than in other countries, “said Campos Neto.
“Our only concern is that we have to go through all the approval criteria and we have a system that encourages competition,” said Campos Neto.
The ubiquitous messaging service in Brazil is trying to enter the payment market by launching the service on June 15. But eight days later the central bank and anti-trust regulators blocked the service, saying it should be reviewed for issues of fair competition and data privacy.
When asked if WhatsApp would operate within the recently launched “PIX” instant payment system, Campos Neto said there would be room for other platforms besides PIX.
The PIX went live at 0930 local time on Monday, and according to the central bank, some 72 million registrations have been opened for the service that allows people and businesses to make bank transfers 24 hours a day.
The total includes 30 million individuals and 1.8 million businesses, a central bank official said Monday.
Campos Neto said the PIX will increase the speed, convenience and efficiency of conducting financial transactions, from buying ice cream to buying a car, as well as lowering costs and encouraging competition between financial companies.
Reporting by Jamie McGeever and Marcela Ayres; Edited by Chris Reese