You will soon be able make purchases right from your WhatsApp Business chat, following an update from the company.
WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world. In Africa, South Africa has the largest penetration of WhatsApp users at about 50%.
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In a blog post, WhatsApp said:
We will expand ways for people to check out available products and make purchases right from a chat. We also want to make it easier for businesses to integrate these features into their existing commerce and customer solutions.
This will help many small businesses who have been most impacted in this time.” ~ WhatsApp
To facilitate and enable these in-app sales, the company will be offering Facebook hosting services to help them better manage their WhatsApp messages, sell products, keep their inventory up to date, and quickly respond to messages they receive and wherever their employees are.
WhatsApp Business, launched in early 2018, currently has over 175 million users who will be able to access and use this feature.
It is also highly likely that this feature will be available at some future time to over 2 billion people who use WhatsApp today.
Here are some stats on WhatsApp:
- Over 2 billion users
- India is the largest market with over 200 million users
- Brazil has over 120 million WhatsApp users
- U.S. accounts for only 23 million WhatsApp users
- WhatsApp has the highest penetration in the Netherlands at 85%
- WhatsApp second highest penetration is Spain at 83.1%
- WhatsApp third highest penetration is in Italy at 83%
- 450 million people use WhatsApp Status
WhatsApp has also said it will start charging business customers for some of its services as part of its revenue generation from the expanded business offerings.
In 2019, Facebook announced that it was already testing the WhatsApp Pay feature in India. It was later announced that the feature was also being tested in Brazil, the two largest users of WhatsApp.
The new in-app purchasing feature comes at a time when Facebook is pushing and expanding its offering for the Libra cryptocurrency and as more fintech companies enable the use of cryptocurrencies on their platforms.
Offering in-app purchasing capabilities provides a perfect platform for testing out the company’s Libra cryptocurrency. It will be interesting to see if this new service will ultimately lead to such future plans.
In some countries, more people have WhatsApp accounts than bank accounts. The ability to send money as easy as it is to send a message via WhatsApp is likely going to revolutionize the payments industry as we know it.
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