WhatsApp announces payment solution

WhatsApp, a messaging app owned by Meta, is introducing its in-chat payment feature for local businesses in Singapore. The new feature allows customers to purchase products or services directly through the app, and will be available initially to a select few Singapore-based businesses using the WhatsApp Business Platform. Meta has partnered with Stripe, which recently launched Tap to Pay on Android, to support the in-app payments for both online and offline transactions.

Singapore residents with a locally registered WhatsApp number can pay using Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit and debit cards or the PayNow fund transfer system. There is no limit on the amount a user can pay in a single transaction. WhatsApp ensures customer information security by requiring legal name and identity verification for eligibility to use payments on its platform. The data is then sent directly to the payment partner without being processed or seen by WhatsApp.

The in-chat payment feature has been built using Stripe Connect and Stripe Checkout solutions. Businesses keen on signing up can work with WhatsApp’s business solution providers and will be guided through the process of setting up a Stripe account. Sarita Singh, Regional Head and Managing Director for Southeast Asia at Stripe, predicted that the new feature would help businesses expand their revenue streams and reach a wider customer base.

WhatsApp first tested its payment services in India in 2020, based on the country’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) network. In 2022, the National Payments Corporation of India allowed Meta to expand the service to 100 million users. The messaging app’s business offerings are Meta’s primary means of monetising the app, as it does not have subscription fees or advertisements. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is now leveraging the chat app’s 2 billion user base to launch payment services in various regions. Starting next month, WhatsApp will shift from a notification-based pricing system to a conversation-based pricing structure for its Business services usage.

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