WhatsApp, world’s largest chat app has launched a new business search functionality for users. The update was announced during WhatsApp’s first-ever Business Summit in Brazil by Mark Zuckerberg. Users of the app will be able to search for businesses by category or name directly in the WhatsApp UI.
A new search element dedicated solely for that purpose has been added. This is accessible via the search function in the app. The search function will include a mini-map, which will enable you to check out nearby businesses, along with category filters and verified business accounts. This will make it easier to access your various in-app shopping options.
“We’ve built business search in a way that preserves people’s privacy. What you search for is processed in a way that cannot be linked back to your account. To start, we’re bringing the ability to search for a business to Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, and the UK where people can find companies using our WhatsApp Business Platform. In Brazil, search will help people find small businesses as well.”
For businesses, this could be a big boost, and will make their products and services accessible to millions of people via the platform.
Expansion of WhatsApp Payments.
In addition to the business search functionality, WhatsApp also announced that its payment service will be expanded to other regions. Payment is currently only available in India, but WhatsApp will now start testing the feature in Brazil.
“Ultimately we want people to be able to make a secure payment right from a chat with their credit or debit card. We recently launched this experience in India, and we’re excited to now be testing this in Brazil with multiple payment partners. This seamless checkout experience will be a game-changer for people and businesses looking to buy and sell on WhatsApp without having to go to a website, open another app or pay in person.”
WhatsApp Pay went live on India’s United Payments Interface [UPI] in 2020. WhatsApp was also told by the NPCI that expansion of payments to users can only be in “graded manner.”
The company was told that it could only extend its payment service to 20 million people and had to work with multiple banking partners. The NCPI also said it would be enforcing a cap on third-party apps to ensure that no single app processes more than 30 percent of all UPI transactions in a month.