WhatsApp, the popular messaging app owned by Meta, has launched a new payment service for businesses in Singapore. The service allows users to pay some local businesses directly within the app, without having to leave the chat or use another app.

The payment service is supported by Stripe, a global payments service provider that works with online platforms and e-commerce businesses. Users can scan a QR code or tap on a payment link to send money to businesses that have Stripe accounts. Users can pay using credit cards, debit cards or PayNow, a peer-to-peer fund transfer service in Singapore.

The payment service is free for both users and businesses, and WhatsApp does not store any payment information. WhatsApp said it works with trusted payment partners to protect its users and comply with industry-standard security practices such as encryption and tokenisation.

WhatsApp said it launched the payment service to enable people and businesses to buy and sell directly on WhatsApp chat, without having to go to a website or pay in person. It said the service will transform the way people and businesses in Singapore connect on WhatsApp.

The payment service is currently available to a small number of Singapore-based businesses, such as lifestyle boutique Tye Tye, pastry shop Baker’s 13 and plant-based butcher Love Handle. WhatsApp said it plans to roll out the service to many more businesses in the coming months. It also hopes to expand the service to more countries and more payment providers in the future.

Whatsapp Payment
Image Credit: Whatsapp

WhatsApp first introduced its payment service in India in November 2020, after getting approval from the country’s central bank. It then launched the service in Brazil in April 2023, following a suspension by regulators in June 2020 over competition and data privacy concerns.

WhatsApp’s payment service is part of Meta’s broader vision to create a digital wallet that can be used across its family of apps, including Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. Meta said it wants to make sending money as easy as sending a message, and enable more people to access financial services and economic opportunities.

WhatsApp has more than two billion users worldwide, and is one of the most popular messaging apps in Singapore. According to a 2020 report by We Are Social and Hootsuite, 85% of internet users in Singapore use WhatsApp. The app is also widely used by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore to communicate with customers and offer products and services.