WhatsApp has started its trial of a feature that lets users send and receive funds within a chat, but not like you think. Before you get excited, this trial is only available to a select few in the US. If it goes well it will likely roll out to other places but that might take some time.
The feature in WhatsApp integrates Meta’s recently launched digital wallet, Novi. It uses the Pax Dollars (USDP) stablecoin and Coinbase as its custody partner. According to Novi’s website, sending cash works the same way as sending a location pin or meme. Users can access the feature through the paperclip on Android or the ‘+’ on iOS.
“That’s cool. But why?”
Well, according to Novi, there are no fees when sending or receiving money or for holding a balance in the wallet, no limits on how much you can send or receive at once, nor how often and no fees for withdrawing from the digital wallet into your traditional bank account. And it all happens instantly. Importantly, payments (whether sent or received) are still covered under WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption.
If the news of Meta (formally Facebook) and cryptocurrency sound familiar, that’s because it is. Although much has changed since Facebook, as it was called back then, announced its plans for a global financial system. Those plans were quickly laughed at by regulators all over.
To a lot of people, this sounds too good to be true. To those ready to accept, give up their soul (and information) and jump in, we’d like to remind you of the adage “If you’re not paying for the product, then you’re the product.”