What you need to know
- WhatsApp is reportedly preparing to integrate a new digital payments system.
- The app will likely integrate with Meta’s Novi digital wallet and require authentication.
- WhatsApp payments are currently available in India and Brazil.
WhatsApp may be preparing to introduce its peer-to-peer payment system in the U.S., according to code found in the latest app beta.
XDA-Developers found code in WhatsApp beta version 18.104.22.168 that points directly to Novi integration and payment transactions. This corroborates similar findings by WABetaInfo late last month, which also showed evidence of Novi integration and even managed to show off what it might look like:
Novi is the digital wallet owned by Facebook Meta, and now the company is unifying all of its payment services for its various apps under the Novi brand. From the looks of it, users will be able to manage their Novi account directly from WhatsApp.
Since the Novi service is only available in the U.S. and Guatemala, the change could signal the imminent arrival of P2P payments for U.S. WhatsApp users. As it stands, the ability to set up WhatsApp payments to send and receive money is only available in India and Brazil. However, the messaging app has been “working to bring this feature to other countries.” U.S. Messenger users can also make payments to each other.
Novi is not too unlike other competing P2P services. Users will be able to send digital currency (Pax Dollars) to each other nearly instantly, transfer funds to a bank account, or even pick the money up at a local convenient store. The service also requires a valid, government-issued photo ID in order to create an account so that it’s secure and users can be sure of who they’re sending money to.
There’s no saying when this integration will rollout on WhatsApp, but it could signal a huge expansion in the app’s P2P capabilities.