Code Bytes: WhatsApp may be about to introduce peer-to-peer payments in India, its largest market with over 200 million users.
Facebook added payments to its Messenger app some time ago in the U.S., but such a feature inside WhatsApp could be far more transformative in India, where Messenger is less popular. Credit card penetration is far lower in India, while WhatsApp has already emerged as a platform for facilitating e-commerce despite currently offering no features that expressly support that.
That’s also an area of interest, though. WhatsApp said last year it would explore the potential to give “businesses that matter” to its users a presence on its platform. That feature was originally scheduled to ship before the end of 2016, but it is yet to go live, although WhatsApp is reportedly testing business search features with a handful of selected companies.
Not much else is currently known about WhatsApp Payments, but our guess is that it will allow users to send money to one another within ongoing conversations. WhatsApp’s take on peer-to-peer payments likely won’t be any different than what’s been available with services like Facebook Messenger, but it will be nice to have access to it for those that use WhatsApp as their messaging platform of choice.