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Brazil's central bank says Whatsapp payment tests have begun

FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of laptop and mobile device users are seen next to a screen projection of Whatsapp logo in this picture illustration
FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of laptop and mobile device users are seen next to a screen projection of Whatsapp logo in this picture illustration

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil's central bank said on Monday that tests had begun to trial payments via Facebook Inc's messaging service WhatsApp in the country, calling them an "important advance."

In a statement, the bank said that the tests involve no real money and are not part of the Facebook, Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc's official requests to operate the payments system in Brazil. Those requests are still being analyzed, the central bank said.

(Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter, editing by Louise Heavens)