Central bank blocks WhatsApp payments in Brazil

Brazil’s central bank has “ordered Visa and Mastercard to suspend the start of activities or immediately stop using the WhatsApp application to initiate payments and transfers”.

Banco Central do Brasil logo

The move follows Facebook’s launch of WhatsApp payments in Brazil just last week.

The Banco Central do Brasil’s motivation for the decision “is to preserve an adequate competitive environment, which ensures the functioning of an interoperable, fast, secure, transparent, open and inexpensive payment system,” it says.

“The measure will allow the central bank to assess any risks to the proper functioning of the Brazilian Payment System (SPB) and to verify compliance with the principles and rules set out in Law 12.865, of 2013.

“The possible start or continuity of operations without prior analysis of the regulator could generate irreparable damage to the SPB, notably with regard to competition, efficiency and data privacy.

“Failure to comply with the BC’s determination will subject interested parties to the payment of a fine and the determination of liability in a sanctioning administrative proceeding.”