MercadoLibre in talks with WhatsApp on business messaging payments -CFO

  • The CFO said that MercadoLibre is in the testing phase to handle Brazil’s WhatsApp payments
  • E-commerce companies hold their cryptocurrency assets
  • MercadoLibre expects to grow its advertising business “many times over”

LONDON, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Latin American e-commerce retailer and fintech firm MercadoLibre ( MELI.O ) is in talks with Meta ( META.O ) to handle payments for messaging service WhatsApp starting in Brazil, the company’s chief financial officer. said Reuters on Wednesday.

Facebook owner Meta said last month it would launch a payment tool in Latin America’s largest economy, allowing WhatsApp users to send messages and make purchases directly from the chat.

“We are in the testing phase as one of the payment partners in Brazil,” Pedro Arnt told Reuters in an interview.

The payment tool in Brazil allows WhatsApp users to find company accounts through the directory service and make in-app transactions with credit or debit cards.

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“This could be an opportunity for us to use WhatsApp effectively to create more sales and better customer relationships,” Arnt added.

He did not mention the progress of the test phase and did not indicate the potential income for Mercado Pago’s financial unit.

However, Brazil is one of WhatsApp’s biggest markets, along with India and Indonesia.

Mercado Pago is among several companies that WhatsApp called last month as having the necessary technical input, “many of them” participated in the production test.

MercadoLibre last month posted better-than-expected third-quarter earnings of $2.7 billion, with 88 million active users in 18 countries.

“We have a strong relationship with our customers because we can solve their financial needs and their business needs. That puts us in a strong position,” Arnt said.

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CRYPTO INVESTMENTS

The CFO said that the company will hold the cryptocurrency despite the market disruption after the collapse of the FTX exchange, allowing it to continue to offer Mercado Pago users in some countries the ability to buy, hold and sell crypto in a digital bag.

The company’s cryptocurrency investment of $30 million between the second and fourth quarters of 2021 is now worth $11 million, Arnt said.

“Market timing is wrong but it has to do with learning about crypto holdings, buying and selling,” he said. “No one is buying anymore and we are not selling either, we still own these properties.

As the company expands its regional transportation network through Mercado Envios, Arnt says its fleet now includes more than 1,000 electric vehicles as it ramps up same-day and next-day deliveries.

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The largest technology company in Latin America by market capitalization is in talks with startups like Xos Trucks in the United States to work on the definition of vehicle design.

“We can see that happening in 2024,” he added.

MercadoLibre aims to continue investing in technology to provide retail advertisers with a greater understanding of consumer behavior as Ads business grew by 1.3% due to volume. “This company should be able to grow many times over the next few years,” Arnt said.

Reporting by Jorgelina do Rosario, editing by Karin Strohecker and Kirsten Donovan

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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