WhatsApp has introduced a new trial program that allows a “limited number” of individuals in the United States to send and receive money using cryptocurrencies from within a chat. Payments are done using Pax Dollars (USDP), a stable coin tied to the US dollar produced by Paxos, which is enabled by Novi, Meta’s digital wallet that started as a prototype six weeks ago. Novi’s new CEO Stephane Kasriel and WhatsApp’s Will Cathcart both publicized the announcement.
Sending a payment on WhatsApp, according to Novi’s website, works similarly to sending any other file. Select “Payment” from the menu that displays after tapping the paper clip icon on Android or the Plus icon on iOS.
There are no costs for sending or receiving money, no restrictions on how often payments may be transferred, and no fees for keeping a balance in your Novi account or withdrawing it to your bank account, according to Novi’s website. Payments are made in real-time.
The Novi test was initially accessible in the United States and Guatemala, but according to WABetaInfo, users in Guatemala will not be able to utilize the new WhatsApp payment feature. They’ll have to stick with the standalone Novi app instead. End-to-end encryption, which is enabled by default for all personal chats on WhatsApp, is unaffected by payments. Both English and Spanish versions of the WhatsApp Novi pilot are accessible.
Some customers in the United States can now access the limited trial program. Check out the Novi website for additional details on the WhatsApp integration.
The pilot is a result of Meta’s cryptocurrency intentions, which have evolved since its original announcement in 2019. The goal back then was to create a cryptocurrency called Libra, which would be tied to a Facebook digital wallet called Calibra.
However, Libra has subsequently been renamed Diem, and Calibra has been renamed Novi, and instead of utilizing Diem, Novi has embraced the Paxos stablecoin in collaboration with Coinbase, the pilot’s custodial partner.
In India and Brazil, WhatsApp already has payment systems, but they employ standard fiat currencies rather than crypto.