• Watch Out for New Payment Feature on WhatsApp

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Another year and another game changer. The digital landscape is set for more disruption in the coming months with the emergence of ecommerce features on messenger platforms such as WhatsApp. The acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook and the explosion of its global users over the last ten years has resulted in the platform becoming an extremely attractive option for brands to engage and interact with their customers.

WhatsApp have added interactive features such as group chat and video capabilities in recent years. In 2019, WhatsApp launched a specialised app called WhatsApp Business which has already accumulated over five million active users. WhatsApp Business allows brands to create a public business profile that can include links to their ecommerce store and a catalogue of their products. The current features on WhatsApp Business are only the beginning of what is to come. WhatsApp will begin rolling out their online payment feature this year. This feature has already launched for WhatsApp users in Brazil as a test market and will be available globally very soon.

WhatsApp launched a specialised app called WhatsApp Business which has already accumulated over five million active users

The WhatsApp Business payment feature will charge businesses a processing fee of 3.99% per transaction to facilitate payments through the app. This feature will be powered by Facebook Pay. Customers will soon be able to chat to a customer service representative of a brand, view their catalogue and purchase any product they desire directly through WhatsApp. Artificial Intelligence is expected to be a major driver of this technology through sophisticated chatbots that will have the capabilities to answer customer queries and direct customers towards a purchase based on their buyer persona.

WhatsApp users that wish to avail of the payment feature will be required to enter their credit card details in the settings area of their app account. Users will also need to provide bank details that they will be receiving and making payments from. Once the banking details have been set up, the person will be able to open a chat thread with a friend or business and tap the pay button to transfer funds for a product or service. They can type in the amount of money they would like to send with no transaction fees for them. WhatsApp will ask people to confirm their identity with a six digit code or fingerprint before a transaction is finalised.


Transactions between businesses and customers will be seamless and secure which will attract even more businesses to sell their products and services online as another barrier to entry for ecommerce will be removed.

Businesses will benefit massively from this new feature as chatting with customers will increase impulse purchases and reduce shopping cart abandonments. Just think of how much time customer service staff and business development managers now spend communicating with prospects via offline and online channels. Prospects are often required to take the last step of a transaction themselves such as completing an order form online along with their payment details. 

A significant amount of time for a business can be wasted when prospects that do not convert after engaging with customer service and sales staff. The payment feature from Whatsapp will reduce the deliberation time of a prospect between talking to a representative of a company and completing a transaction directly in the chat. Giving a prospect all the information they need about a product or service through the chat function on WhatsApp will reduce their need to research alternatives as businesses will be able to answer any questions that a potential customer may have to set their mind at ease and remove any apprehensions they may have before purchasing.


Businesses will also be able to use data from past threads and chats with a customer to learn more about them and their likelihood to purchase. This could save a business valuable time in future when engaging with prospects as they will inevitably get better and better at learning how to identify high value leads and the best ways to convert them. The entire buyer’s journey for the majority of online customers could soon be on mobile devices through the WhatsApp Business app. Facebook Messenger is also expected to roll out something similar once the feature has been fully tested and proven through WhatsApp.

Keep an eye out for the introduction of this feature in the next few months. The potential for your business could be very attractive, especially if you develop a strong presence before your competitors do.

Contact our Digital Marketing Manager Jonathan Flynn if you would like any further tips and advice on social media for your business. We would be happy to meet for a coffee and help you get the very most from you digital marketing efforts.