WhatsApp Pay has been slow to roll out and is currently available only in India and Brazil. Now, some users in the US will be able to send and receive money from WhatsApp itself, all without associated additional fees.
WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart announced (on Twitter) that the Meta-owned messaging service has partnered with Novi, led by CEO Stephane Kasriel, to enable the feature. WhatsApp will allow a small subset of users in the US to send and receive USDP tokens using Novi on the messaging app.
New in the US: use your @Novi digital wallet to send and receive money right within a @WhatsApp chat. People use WA to coordinate sending money to loved ones, and now Novi will help them do that securely, instantly and with no fees. https://t.co/4wG4t8zwKh
— Will Cathcart (@wcathcart) December 8, 2021
Novi’s website explains that the service is a “new way to send and receive money” without fees. Laying emphasis on the associated convenience, the webpage says users can initiate transfers “without ever leaving your WhatsApp chat.” Kasriel notes that using Novi via WhatsApp doesn’t compromise the latter’s famed end-to-end encryption system for chats and voice/video calls.
If you plan on using the feature, note that any money you add to your account will be converted into USDP only. No other cryptocurrency transfers appear to be supported for now. For Novi, one USDP token is worth exactly $1. When you transfer the USDP, your recipient will be able to withdraw funds as US Dollars. Thanks to the use of this stable cryptocurrency, you are essentially transferring US Dollars on WhatsApp.
Here’s how you can get started using the feature in the US, with three simple steps:
Step 1: Open WhatsApp and select the chat with the intended recipient of your USDP transfer.
Step 2: Tap the + icon on your iPhone’s screen and select the Payment option in the menu that appears.
Step 3: Follow the on-screen instructions and log in to your Novi account. You can also create a new one. You can then start sending and receiving USDP via WhatsApp.
Interestingly, a Bloomberg report dating back to 2018 clarifies that this is not the first time WhatsApp has dipped its toes in facilitating cryptocurrency trading on its platform. The report said the company was working on a “stablecoin.”
“The company is developing a stablecoin — a type of digital currency pegged to the U.S. dollar — to minimize volatility, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal plans.”
Do you think this feature will become a part of our everyday lives or would you rather keep your USDP dealings obscured from Zuckerberg’s companies? We are eager to hear your take on this!