Francisco Gonçalves

CTO at iProspect Brasil

Get ready because the revolution is in the palms of consumers' hands and your business needs to embark on this journey

A brief return to 2019: WhatsApp Pay was tested in India and the plan was to launch it in the country at the end of the same year, where the platform had 400 million users in its base. The government's Unified Payment Interface (UPI) already existed, which allows instant financial transactions and is used by other applications to which it would integrate. But, we arrived in 2020 and WhatsApp is still seeking approval from the Indian government, which argues that WhatsApp Pay is not meeting UPI and data location integration standards.

Given this difficulty, it made a lot of sense for Facebook, the owner of WhatsApp, to start Pay's operations in another country. You've seen this movie, right? Brazil presents itself as a great territory for such an initiative: today, 98% of Brazilian cell phones have WhatsApp installed. So WhatsApp Pay was launched here in partnership with Nubank, Banco do Brasil and Sicredi, the Mastercard and Visa flags, payment processing done by Cielo and using Facebook Pay technology. Like its competitors PicPay, Mercado Pago, among others, WhatsApp Pay allows money transfer between people and to businesses. To avoid fraud, transactions are only approved through PIN or biometrics. This way, even if a user loses his mobile phone, it will not be possible to make a transaction.

And in times of pandemic, as Matt Idema, chief operating officer of WhatsApp points out, "digital payment makes sales easier and more convenient, especially now with social isolation. In other words, the contactless concept, having the ability to shop without having to contact any type of machine other than your own, adds to the user experience.

In addition, as a user base of this magnitude, it is certain that consumers will now use WhatsApp Pay to make their payments and purchases. Cowboys for barbecue, happy hour payments, and small delivery purchases, today made by PicPay, iFood, and Mercado Pago, tend to be increasingly adopted. Here, more strength for WhatsApp, which is so present in the Brazilian life, is ahead, while its competitors in payments still have to win the download of their applications.

But what changes in your life, or rather, in your business?

Unlike today's delivery platforms, in WhatsApp Business, and consequently in WhatsApp Pay, there is direct consumer contact, further extending the opportunities for personalization of the consumer experience. Companies will have (more) direct and automatic contact with their customers as soon as the first payment is made. What now requires some kind of registration, this new model brings the possibility for companies to create personalized reward programs, extremely targeted advertising, collective shopping systems and, in addition, to talk to an attendant, make a purchase and track delivery, all on the same platform, which is already installed on the consumer's cell phone.

But the ideal scenario that WhatsApp Pay suffered a setback, and the possibility of (another) consumer revolution and, concomitantly, the financial market, did not pass easily through the Central Bank, and WhatsApp Pay has already had its activities suspended by Bacen, in addition to encountering obstacles from the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade). Thus, with the suspension of the platform by the Bacen, we continue in the same stage of India.

The impasse to authorize the operation of WhatsApp Pay can be considered a delay in the progress of the companies' relationship with their customers, but at the same time, an opportunity for their business to make the decisions on how to adapt to this reality that will soon come true. Take this time to understand how WhatsApp can benefit your business, from having a WhatsApp Business profile, contacting your customers to identify profiles and design loyalty programs, improving services and products, opening an account at one of your partner institutions so that when the application is released you are ready to receive your first payment. Examples of how to plan your sales and marketing strategy using WhatsApp Pay. Prepare for the return of that future, because the revolution is in the palms of consumers and your business needs to embark on this journey.

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