Brazil bans WhatsApp pay

The Brazilian central bank has ordered Mastercard and Visa to suspend processing WhatsApp money transfers.

According to official information released to Cointelegraph Brazil, the Central Bank of Brazil (BC) has taken action against WhatsApp Pay "to maintain an appropriate competitive environment" and to enable the central bank to assess the risk that the company poses to the country's financial sector.

Visa and Mastercard will face heavy fines and administrative sanctions if they do not suspend WhatsApp payment activities.

The Central Bank of Brazil (BC) has decided to suspend WhatsApp Pay, saying it is taking action to "ensure that an interoperable, fast, secure, transparent, open and low-cost payment system functions". He added that this will give the bank time to "assess any threats to the proper functioning of the Brazilian payment system and verify its compliance".

WhatsApp launched its payment system in Brazil earlier this month after two years of testing in various emerging markets. Brazil is the second largest market in WhatsApp, with over 120 million users.