Brazil has shut down WhatsApp's payment service, TechCrunch writes Wednesday. That happened a week after parent company Facebook added the payment function for Brazilian users.
Brazil's central bank says it has made the decision to "maintain healthy competition" in the mobile payments market. The bank also wants to ensure that payment systems in the country are "fast, safe, transparent, open and cheap".
Brazilian banks have instructed Mastercard and Visa to block transactions via WhatsApp in the country. These parties work together with WhatsApp in Brazil. If they don't quit, they can expect fines and other sanctions.
In a statement, the central bank tells TechCrunch that it was unable to investigate WhatsApp's payment system before it was rolled out. WhatsApp tells Reuters to work with "local partners" and the central bank to continue offering digital payments.
WhatsApp released the mobile payment function in Brazil last week. With the service, users transfer money to each other and to companies via the chat app. It was the first time that WhatsApp rolled out the feature in a country.