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WhatsApp Pay and Mobile Payments: News, Statistics, Latest Developments

WhatsApp Pay
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WhatsApp Pay, Viber Payments, Apple Pay: the world of mobile payment is getting really exciting. Being able to cover the entire customer journey on messenger apps like WhatsApp (including in-app payment!) will be a gamechanger. Getting there, however, is taking some time. In this overview, we regularly update you on the latest developments around mobile messaging payments. 

When Apple introduced Apple Pay in 2014, the whole world suddently became aware of the full potential of messaging. It showed that messaging apps were not only a great private communication channel, but also a unique business tool. Imagine the following!

You reach out to customers through a marketing campaign on a messaging app. The customer responds with a question about the product. You answer their question, and send them helpful videos and images. After an engaging conversation, they decide to buy the product, and... finally, they pay you directly in-chat.

At no point has the customer ever left the app! This is the door that Apple Pay opened, and it showed the possibilities of mobile payments in messaging apps: a seamless customer experience, an engaging customer journey, and huge potential for businesses. Since then, the rest of the messaging world, from KakaoTalk to Viber to Telegram, has been working towards similar mobile payments solutions. The progress is slow, but steady, and especially when it comes to the world's most popular messaging app, WhatsApp, highly anticipated.

In this overview, we track the developments around mobile messaging payments, and inform you about the latest updates about WhatsApp Pay and other mobile payment solutions.

WhatsApp Pay Updates 2023

Update 9. Mai 2023

WhatsApp Payments officially rolls out in Singapore

Business in Singapore can now offer an in-chat payment on WhatsApp. Supported by the payment platform Stripe, businesses can receive direct payments on the WhatsApp Business Platform (API). Payments with Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit and debit cards are supported as well as PayNow. 

WhatsApp Payment Singapore
WhatsApp Payments in Singapore. (Source: WhatsApp)

Meta works with payment partners that have to assure the data security standards of the payment industry. They also have to offer fraud recognition and safety features such as encryption, tokenization in order to keep the payment data secure. 

Update April 11, 2023

WhatsApp Payments officially launched in Brazil 

Meta successfully completed the tests for WhatsApp Pay and has now officially launched the feature in Brazil. Customers now can pay businesses directly on WhatsApp. Mark Zuckerberg announced the rollout in a Facebook post

With the payment feature, users can now, according to Zuckerberg, "pay local businesses right in a WhatsApp chat."

WhatsApp Payments Brazil
WhatsApp Payments finally launches in Brazil. (Source: WhatsApp)

After India, Brazil has now become the second country to fully support the in-chat payment feature for WhatsApp. The feature will be rolled out to more businesses in the following months. 

Update March 8, 2023

WhatsApp Payments starts tests in Brazil

On March 2, Brazil's central bank approved WhatsApp Payments in Brazil. After a test phase, customers in Brazil will soon be able to make payments to small businesses directly on WhatsApp. Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp, announced the big news on Twitter.

"Soon, Brazilians will be able to browse products, add them to a cart and make secure payments to small businesses right from a chat with your credit or debit card.”

Will Cathcart

After the approval of peer-to-peer payments on WhatsApp in 2021, this is the next big step for the business use of the messenger app, as users can now pay merchants directly in-app. This means that businesses and customers can complete the entire customer journey on Meta's green messenger app. 

After India, this makes Brazil the second country in the world with in-app payment on WhatsApp. In India, WhatsApp launched the end-to-end shopping feature in 2022 in a partnership with the e-commerce store JioMart. 

WhatsApp Pay Updates 2022

Update November 18, 2022

First demo of WhatsApp Pay in Brazil

At the first WhatsApp Business Summit in São Paulo, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of WhatsApp's parent company Meta, announced that end-to-end shopping on WhatsApp would roll out shortly in Brazil. 

With this, companies and customers will soon be able to complete the entire customer journey on WhatsApp, from the first conversation to making the final purchase. WhatsApp also demonstrated for the first time a WhatsApp payment in Brazil.

WhatsApp Pay Brazil first demonstration
The first demonstration of WhatsApp Pay in Brazil. (Source:  Ana Carolina Meno / LinkedIn)

The company is currently testing the process with several payment providers, such as Cielo, Fiserv, Getnet Brasil, Mercado Pago and Rede, through Visa and Mastercard. WhatsApp is currently working on finalizing the agreemets and receiving the necessary authorization from regulators.

"We are writing a new chapter in the history of WhatsApp in Brazil and I can't wait for everything the future holds."

Guilherme Horn, Head of WhatsApp, Latin America

Update September 5, 2022

World premiere in India: Shop and pay on WhatsApp

WhatsApp Pay is finally here! At least a first version of it. In a world premiere, Meta introduced the first end-to-end shopping experience in India. It's the first time customers can shop for products, place them in their carts, and payn— all without having to leave WhatsApp.

For this, Meta partnered with JioMart, an online grocery store in India.

WhatsApp Pay, JioMart
This is what the very first end-to-end shopping experience on WhatsApp looks like. (Source: WhatsApp)

This is the most complete and integrated WhatsApp shopping experience ever.  In India, WhatsApp is thus moving closer to become the country's one-stop app. For the mobile first users in India, this will also make shopping online a lot easier.

Update August 1, 2022

Viber Payments starts in Greece and Germany

Another messaging app has now introduced an in-app payment system. Viber, the messenger service run by the Japanese tech company Rakute, has launched "Payments". The new fintech service allows users to pay for goods and services with a wallet. This wallet will be linked to the users' bank accounts, and thus allow in-app payments.

The wallet can then be used to pay for goods, bills, and also to transfer money to other individuals. In a first phase, Viber decided to launch the feature in Greece, one of its major markets and Germany.

Update July 20, 2022

Instagram now allows in-chat payments for small businesses

In July 2022, Meta introduced a new payment feature for chats in Instagram Direct. Certain small, qualified businesses will be able to receive payments directly in the chat. The Instagram shopping experience can therefore happen completely within the messaging environment.

Meta Pay, Instagram shop, Instagram Direct
From ordering to paying on Instagram Direct. (Source: Instagram)

Customers can ask businesses about a product, order it, pay for it, and even receive tracking information afterwards. The payments will be handled through Meta Pay (recently rebranded from Facebook Pay). It's Meta's latest move in pushing its family of messaging apps more towards a business use.

Update July 3, 2022

Meta shuts down Novi wallet

Three years after Facebook ventured into cryptcurrency with its Libra project, the company has announced that the digital wallet payments pilot, Novi, will end by the beginning of September.

Even though there are rumours to move Novi into the NFT space or to re-purpose it for the Metaverse, it's unclear how concrete these plans are.

Update February 10, 2022

Split Payments on Messenger from Meta is available for everyone in the U.S.

Stéphane Kasriel, Head of Novi, Meta's FinTech unit, announced on Twitter that Split Payments has now been activated for all users in the USA. This allows money to be split between several people so that, as shown in the screenshot, joint purchases can be divided between friends and acquaintances, for example.

It’s here! Today, Split Payments on @Messenger is available for everyone in the 🇺🇸. Now, you can split rent, dinner, and other expenses right where you chat 📱 pic.twitter.com/GXed8Fn6R2

— Stephane Kasriel (@skasriel) February 9, 2022

WhatsApp Pay Updates 2021

Update 20. December 2021

WhatsApp launches pilot for cryptocurrenccy payments in the U.S.

WhatsApp has released a solution to send and receive money in the easiest way. Facebook's digital wallet (Novi) allows any transaction to be made easily, securely, quickly and without fees via WhatsApp. Currently, this new feature is only available in the U.S. and, with limited capacities, in Guatemala (only via Novi app).

To enable sending money, Novi uses cryptocurrencies and the sablecoin USDP (Pax Dollar). Once a user deposits money into the Novi account, it is converted into USDP (Pax Dollar). One USDP is equivalent to 1 US dollar on Novi. USDP is a stablecoin issued by Paxos and is pegged to the US dollar at all times.

To ensure security, Novi performs several steps. Verification with an official photo ID serves as the identity check. A video selfie may also be requested. Additionally, Novi has fraud protection and several privacy features.

All you have to do is tcreate an account and deposit money into it. After that, you select a contact, enter the amount to be transferred, and then the transaction is verified and you can add a personal note.

Novi, WhatsApp Pay
Payments with WhatsApp and Novi. (Source: Meta)

Update 14. September 2021

Only 6% of U.S. users utilize Apple Pay!

The mobile payment service Apple Pay has been hyped for years for its potential, but the actual usage figures seem to be lower than expected. That's, at least, according to a U.S. survey among more than 3,600 consumers. According to the survey, only 6.1 percent of users in the U.S. who have activated Apple Pay on their iPhones actually use the system to pay at the store checkout.

Even the Covid-19 pandemic has not had a strong effect. In recent years, the percentage has fluctuated between 5.1 and 6.9 percent. Apple Pay is therefore growing primarily because the absolute number of users is increasing, as more people activate the function.

Update 19. August 2021

Facebook wallet Novi ready for launch!?

Facebook's own digital wallet "Novi" is said to be about to launch. David Marcus, CEO of Facebook Financial, announced this in a blog post. He did not reveal an exact date for the launch.

Facebook presents Novi as a simple way to transfer money between people. Such a digital payment system, he said, is a "global, open, interoperable, near real-time, cheap" and "compliant global protocol for money"

Novi is said to be distinct from the cryptocurrency service Libra, now called Diem, as well as the Calibra wallet announced in 2019. Accordign to Marcus, Novi is the wallet provider that deals in a stablecoin linked to real assets and issued by the Diem Association.

David Marcus was the head of Facebook Messenger for a long time. So, there are speculations that the Novi wallet and WhatsApp Pay might be integrated at some point.

Update 30. March 2021

WhatsApp Pay now also launches in Brazil!

After being on then off again in June of 2020, WhatsApp pay has now launched WhatsApp Payments in Brazil with 30 institutions. The feature has been approved as a "payment initiator" in Brazil, as the Brazilian newspaper globo.com reports.

On Tuesday, the Central Bank (BC) granted the operating authorizations that will allow WhatsApp to carry out bank transfers. Visa and Mastercard also received approvals for two open "payment agreements", such as wire transfer, deposit, pre-payment and domestic. WhatsApp will also be part of the agreement, which will allow transfers through the messaging app.

Under the model approved by the Central Bank, WhatsApp will only initiate transactions between customer accounts at the financial institutions where they are account holders. The credential to be used in the application is the Visa or MasterCard debit or prepaid card number.

However, according to BC, transactions can be made from the date WhatsApp makes the functionality available to the customer, and the rate charged for the bank transfer is set by the application.

"With great satisfaction we welcome today's decision of the Central Bank to make this WhatsApp feature available in Brazil as soon as possible."


WhatsApp Pay brings companies one step closer to conversational commerce. However, it's still unclear when and if WhatsApp Pay will roll out in other countries.

WhatsApp Pay Updates 2020

Update 05. November 2020

WhatsApp Payment pilot launched in India

WhatsApp is premiering its payment feature in India. In a blog article, the company writes:

"Starting today, people across India can send money via WhatsApp. This secure payment method makes transferring money as easy as sending a message. People can securely send money to a family member or share the cost of goods remotely without having to exchange cash in person or go to a local bank."


Pagamento do Whatsapp na Índia Pagamento via Messenger
Indians can now send each other money on WhatsApp. (Source: WhatsApp)

WhatsApp developed the payment feature in partnership with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and using the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), one of the first real-time payment systems in India that enables transactions with over 160 supported banks.

To send money via WhatsApp in India, users must have a bank account and a debit card in India. WhatsApp sends instructions to banks, which initiate the money transfer via UPI between sender and recipient bank accounts. In doing so, WhatsApp Pay partners with five leading banks in India: ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India and Jio Payments Bank.

Update 22. September 2020

Samsung Pay launched in 25 countries

With Samsung Pay, you can use mobile payment on your Samsung smartphones. You simply register credit and debit cards as well as customer cards via the app. Samsung Pay is accepted at all points of sale where you can make contactless payments.

Samsung Pay is available in around 25 countries, including Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland, for example. A registration page has been set up on Samsung's website, where you can sign up for the next scheduled test run.

Samsung Pay will be more similar to Apple Pay thanWhatsApp Pay. Thus, it will not be about sending from peer to peer like WhatsApp Payment, but rather about paying using a credit card. Samsung Galaxy Watch owners in particular could benefit from Samsung Pay. Although contactless payment services have long been available from other providers, Samsung has so far refrained from integrating the function for smartwatch users as well.

Update June 24, 2020

WhatsApp Pay: Brazilian central bank stops WhatsApp's online payment service!

Only a week after the launch of WhatsApp Pay in Brazil, the Brazilian Central Bank has now suspended the feature due to a "preliminary analysis of market supervision" that would have to take place. In addition, the Brazilian Central Bank sees "potential competitive risks" from WhatsApp Pay. After India, Brazil is the world's second largest market for the green messenger app, with over 120 million users.

WhatsApp reiterated in an initial statement that it will work closely with all relevant players for its WhatsApp Payment solution in Brazil to enable an early relaunch.

"Our goal is to make digital payments available to all WhatsApp users in Brazil in an open model, and we will continue to work with local partners and the Central Bank to make this possible. In addition, we support the Central Bank's PIX project for digital payments and, together with our partners, are committed to working with the Central Bank to integrate our systems once PIX is available."

PIX is an instant payment system developed and tested by the Brazilian Central Bank. During the test phase, PIX already had around 1000 financial companies participating. About 30 of these financial service providers alone had over 500,000 customers each. In terms of transaction costs for companies, PIX is lower than WhatsApp. Experts expect PIX to reach around 20 million users in its first year. The launch is planned for November.

Update June 15, 2020

WhatsApp Pay debuts in Brazil

Surprisingly and in contrast to previous developments, WhatsApp announced in a blog post that starting June 15, 2020, more than ten million small and medium-sized businesses and individuals in Brazil will be able to send and receive money via WhatsApp Pay.

For individuals, paying and sending money will be free of charge. For businesses, a small processing fee of 3.99 pecent of the amount is planned. This is in line with the amount businesses have to pay when processing payments by credit card, for example.

WhatsApp Payment Brasilien
In Brazil, private WhatsApp users can now send money or pay for products directly in WhatsApp. (Source: WhatsApp)

After India, Brazil is the second largest market for WhatsApp. More than 91% of Brazilians who have downloaded WhatsApp on their smartphone use the messenger several times a day.

WhatsApp Pay Updates 2018

Update October 23, 2018

WhatsApp Pay starts pilot in India

India has over 400 million active WhatsApp users per month. For the messaging app, this means that India represents the largest market. So it makes sense for the company to test new features there first.

In addition, India also has a large number of "mobile-only" users. Over 70 percent of Internet users in India do not own a PC. While many online purchases are still only made after a desktop search, mobile payment is leading in India. It therefore makes sense for WhatsApp to allow Indians to use their favorite messaging app for mobile payments.

With the new pilot, Indians (Android and iPhone users alike) can now use WhatsApp to send and receive money on the messaging app. messaging app can get the payment option. During the setup process, the user has to confirm their mobile number, and then they can select the appropriate bank to link their WhatsApp to their bank account.

Unified Payment Interface in India (Source: WhatsApp)

The screenshot shows the setup for WhatsApp Payment via Unified Payment Interface (UPI) in India. This is a real-time payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India. UPI enables direct money transfer on mobile platforms. After confirmation by the user, the desired amount is debited from the bank account linked to the mobile number and credited to the recipient.

As the system is independent of opening hours, Sundays or public holidays, it is very popular among the Indian population and is obviously used as a popular alternative for standard transfers.

Background: the start of WhatsApp Pay

WhatsApp has been gradually opening up to businesses. In 2018, the WhatsApp Business App was introduced, which was only aimed at smaller companies and businesses. Subsequently, the WhatsApp Business API was introduced. I was specifically developed for medium and large companies, but is only available through selected partners, so-called WhatsApp Business Solution Providers, such as MessengerPeople by Sinch.

In parallel with the opening the app to commercial use, the company started a test phase for a mobile payment service in India in 201. The test began in June 2018 with one million users. WhatsApp has teamed up with various Indian banks for this purpose.

Incidentally, WhatsApp's second-largest market, Brazil, has not been idle when it comes to WhatsApp Pay either. The country's oldest bank, Banco do Brasil, had started early to successively introduce financial transactions (money transfers, account balance, etc.) via WhatsApp.

For example, a cash service was launched in 2019, allowing customers to withdraw amounts worth up to 80 US dollars from an ATM. This 15th service, which the bank is implementing via WhatsApp, works quite simply in a few steps via chatbot.

  1. Store contact (phone number) of the bank in the address book and ask for withdrawal.
  2. A chatbot with IBM Watson technology asks for the amount of the withdrawal as well as the PIN, which the customer must enter
  3. After verification, the customer receives a code that must be entered in the ATM and is valid for the day of the request

Finally, Facebook announced in late 2019 that it was launching Facebook Pay, a unified online payment system for its "Family of Apps," which includes WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, the Facebook App, and Instagram. Since then, WhatsApp has been continuously working on setting up mobile payments for the app.

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Image of Marinela Potor, editor-in-chief at Sinch Engage.
Written by: Marinela Potor