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Brazil launches instant payments platform; expects WhatsApp return

Brazil's apex bank has introduced its PIX instant payments platform, whilst hinting that WhatsApp will soon be allowed to relaunch its payments service in the country.

PIX lets citizens, companies and government entities make instant payments 24/7/365 through mobile phones, online banking and ATMs, using QR codes or recipient information such as phone numbers, emails and taxpayer identification.

The service got a full launch on Monday after two weeks of testing and has already seen 72 million registrations from individuals and businesses, Fintech Extra reports.

Image Source: The Verge

PIX runs in a centralised settlement infrastructure, called the Instant Payment System, operated and managed by the Banco Central do Brasil and is designed to foster competition in a market dominated by the big five banks.

One new player set to make their move is WhatsApp. The firm launched its P2P payments service in Brazil in June but the central bank suspended it within ten days of its roll out.

At a press conference to mark the PIX launch, central bank president Roberto Campos Neto revealed that "WhatsApp will start doing P2P soon. I have talked a lot with their CEO, we are making good progress," according to Reuters.

In addition, Campos Neto says he has talked to other US tech giants, including Google and WhatsApp owner Facebook, about entering the country' payment market.

Brazil In Focus:

Population: 211.05 million (Compared to South Africa's 59.6 million)

GDP: $1.48 trillion (Compared to South Africa's $369.85 billion)

GDP Per Capita: $9,130 (Compared to South Africa's $6,193)