Whatsapp Pay: The next frontier for the expansion of data monopoly
This study carried out by Coding Rights analyzed the pilot implementation of Whatsapp Pay in Brazil. The country is the second in the world to implement this service, the first was India. Data colonialism? Beyond data protection debates, this case is fascinating because it (finally) raised the attention of Brazilian competition authorities about Facebook (Meta)’s monopolistic position and exposed the need for cooperation within regulatory authorities on data protection, competition law and consumer rights.
By Vanessa Koetz, Bianca Kremer and Joana Varon
On March 30, 2021, the Central Bank of Brazil (BCB) approved the use of Whatsapp Pay in the country. It is a feature for money transfer through the app itself, and no fees or charges are applied to payments carried out through the functionality. The focus is on small payments, and users can make up to 20 transactions a day of up to BRL 1,000 per transaction, with a monthly limit of BRL 5,000. The government of the State of São Paulo even announced that subway and bus passengers could pay for public transportation via Whatsapp.