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WhatsApp digital payments are suspended in Brazil

Brazil's Central Bank orders Visa and Mastercard to stop payments through the app.

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Brazil's Central Bank suspends WhatsApp digital payments.

Angela Lang/CNET

WhatsApp digital payments have been suspended by Brazil's Central Bank a week after the feature launched in the country. The bank ordered Visa and Mastercard to stop payments and money transfers through the app or risk facing fines. 

With this decision, the Central Bank aims "to preserve an adequate competitive environment, which ensures the functioning of an interoperable, fast, secure, transparent, open and inexpensive payment system," according to a translation of a note posted to the bank's website

The bank said the suspension will give it time to verify that WhatsApp's digital payment feature doesn't threaten the country's payment systems and is in compliance with the necessary rules. 

WhatsApp brought digital payment to Brazil last week with the aim to let people safely and easily send money digitally through Facebook Pay, an online payment service the social media giant announced late last year. 

"Our goal is to provide digital payments to all WhatsApp users in Brazil using an open model and we will continue to work with local partners and the Central Bank to make this possible," a WhatsApp spokesperson told Bloomberg on Tuesday. 

WhatsApp didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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