The central bank in Brazil has suspended WhatsApp digital payment feature — less than 10 days after it was announced.

TheCable Lifestyle had reported how the US-run messaging service introduced a new feature that allows users to send and receive money via Facebook Pay, a payment service on June 15.

The social media app, which boasts of over two billion users globally, said users in Brazil would be the first to send and receive money through the Facebook-owned platform.

To use the feature, users will be required to link a credit or debit card to their WhatsApp account and also have to enter a six-digit pin or use fingerprint to complete transactions.

But in a statement on Tuesday, Brazil’s central bank said it has ordered Visa and Mastercard to suspend the joint project with WhatsApp to roll out digital payment services on its platform.

The apex bank, which regulates payment systems in the South American country, said the feature was suspended to preserve adequate competitive environment.

“The reason for the central bank’s decision is to preserve an adequate competitive environment, ensuring an interoperable, fast, secure, transparent, open and economical payment system,” the statement read.

Brazil is WhatsApp’s second-biggest market with more than 120 million users.

The central bank said the suspension of the feature would allow for proper evaluation of the risks it poses, adding that a go-ahead could generate “irreparable damage to the system, especially what concerns competition, efficiency and data privacy”.



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