WhatsApp hasn’t exactly been void of any way to transfer money in-app, but all of its more reliable methods have been in the form of partnerships. For example, Telkom Pay and Money Message (courtesy of Nedbank). But neither of these are catch-all options, and are relatively restricted in their usage.
Now, the mega-messaging app is working on an in-app button specifically to easily and conveniently transfer money.
“Cash or card?” “WhatsApp, please.”
The feature, spotted by (who else?) WABetaInfo is currently in beta testing on beta version 2.21.17, and is available to a handful of Indian users operating on that version. According to XDA-Developers it’s built on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the same platform used for payments made through Google Pay.
The payment feature shows up as a new button in the ‘Attachments’ menu in your message bar, in chat. It’s simply labelled, ‘Payment’, and also has its own button between the attachments and camera icon alongside the voice note button. Obviously, since this is still a feature in beta, layout and design is subject to change, but it’ll probably release looking much the same as it does now. We assume the currency symbol shown on the button (which is the Indian Rupee in WABetaInfo’s screenshots) will be region dependent.
It’s a hugely useful and convenient feature that users have been pining for a while. Whether or not you’re happy to use it though depends on how you feel considering WhatsApp and its big brother Facebook’s less than popular privacy practices of late. Buyer beware, we suppose. Or payer, in this case.