Facebook Inc.’s (FB) WhatsApp has launched a payment service across Brazil to allow users to send money securely to individuals or make a purchase from a local business without leaving their chat.
With the digital payment service tool, the social media giant seeks to attract over 10 million of Brazil’s small and micro businesses into the digital economy and open up new opportunities for growth.
The payments feature on WhatsApp is run via Facebook Pay and processed by Cielo in Brazil. Shares in the Brazilian payments processor on Monday jumped 20% to $0.98 in U.S. trading. In the future, Facebook wants to make it possible for people and businesses to use the same card information across Facebook’s family of apps.
For individuals, the payment service of sending money or making a purchase on WhatsApp is free of charge. Businesses will pay a processing fee to receive customer payments, similar to what they may already pay when accepting a credit card transaction.
The social media network has in recent months seen a boom in user numbers as the coronavirus pandemic accelerated the need for remote social engagement as well as for online business and working tools.
Shares in Facebook rose 1.7% to $232.50 at the close on Monday extending its rally to a whopping 59% since mid-March. The stock is up 13% on a year-to-date basis.
Five-star analyst Justin Post at Merrill Lynch this month reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a $265 price target, saying that Facebook has the potential to capitalize on the user surge it experienced during shelter-in-place orders.
“In the long term, the social media platform is poised to benefit from several under-monetized and under-value assets such as Messenger, Marketplaces and Watch, and material e-commerce growth opportunities”, Post wrote in a note to investors.
TipRanks data shows that overall Wall Street analysts have a bullish call on Facebook shares. A stellar 31 out of 35 analysts have a Buy rating on the stock with the rest keeping a Hold rating for now.