WABetaInfo, a reliable source for WhatsApp related news and info has released a screenshot of a new payment feature about to be launched by WhatsApp. This would make the Facebook-owned chat app the latest service to add such feature to its platform following Messenger and iMessage.
WABetaInfo blog reports that a beta version of the payments functionality could soon be added. The picture, which was discovered by the blog shows a button that users will have to click and accept before making any transaction. A “Welcome to WhatsApp Payments” screen, discovered by the blog is the clearest indication that bank to bank payment is not far away.
The chat app is currently testing bank transfer with a Unified Payments Interface or UPI; a payments system run by Reserve Bank of India. If true, the feature is likely to be rolled out to users in India, and will probably be followed by other countries.
WhatsApp which recently clocked 1 billion daily active users, is working on a plan that will enable it monetize its services. The job for the position of a lead product development is one of three positions the company is hoping to fill in the days ahead, and this at best gives us a clear picture of WhatsApp’s plans.
Citing a source familiar with the matter, Recode reports that WhatsApp’s focus is on creating something for the emerging markets. The chat app is particularly very popular in countries like Brazil and India—and WhatsApp’s emphasis on hiring someone with international and prior experience in related field all but confirms this.
This is the first time WhatsApp is coming out publicly to declare its intention to monetize plans. In the past, the company had declined or denied such plans were in the offing. Asked three years ago if his company was considering selling or placing ads on WhatsApp, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO said the company had no such plans.
“Our strategy is to grow and connect people. Once we get to 2-3 billion people there are ways we can monetize.
“Now we want to focus on growing users. I don’t think ads are the right way here.”
Zuckerberg did say his company would consider ads once WhatsApp hits 2-3 billion people, but it seems Facebook can’t wait until it hits that figure. The company had placed ads for some key position that gave the clearest indication yet that it’s planning to monetize the chat app.
A cutout from the announcement posted on the company’s official website reads:
“WhatsApp is seeking an exceptional individual to lead product development for our monetization efforts. If you are a leader who has demonstrated experience in building products, has an empathy for both consumers and businesses, has a strong bias for action, wants to understand and unlock the potential of WhatsApp to serve millions of businesses we would be excited to hear from you.”
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