Facebook’s plans for WhatsApp have suffered a setback as Brazil’s central bank has suspended payments within the app.
Facebook has been looking for ways to monetize WhatsApp and help recoup its investment in the messaging service. After flirting with the idea of ads, it decided to focus on financial services instead.
Brazil was the first country in which Facebook integrated payments into WhatsApp, although it now appears that rollout was short-lived. According to TechCrunch, “Brazil’s central bank said it was taking the decision to ‘preserve an adequate competitive environment’ in the mobile payments space and to ensure ‘functioning of a payment system that’s interchangeable, fast, secure, transparent, open and cheap.’”
Facebook will likely continue rolling out the payment service in other countries, and it remains to be seen if the company can do anything to address Brazil’s concerns. Either way, this is a significant setback for the social media giant.