You could soon be able to make payments through WhatsApp - the new feature explained

Whatsapp are trialling a digital payment service (Shutterstock)Whatsapp are trialling a digital payment service (Shutterstock)
Whatsapp are trialling a digital payment service (Shutterstock)

Whatsapp users in Brazil are now able to make payments to fellow users of the messaging app.

The move is part of a wider strategy by parent company Facebook to introduce e-commerce to its portfolio of platforms.

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Whatsapp has already detailed plans to introduce similar payment capability in other emerging economies, and has previously tested a beta version of the feature in India.

How does it work?

Users access the payment feature by linking their whatsapp account with their Visa or Mastercard debit or credit card.

Before making a payment users are required to enter a six-digit code or verify their identification with a fingerprint.

The feature is currently free to use, though Whatsapp receive 3.99% fee from businesses receiving a payment through the app. The app will be free to use for people.

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In a blog post Whatsapp explained: “the over 10 million small and micro businesses are the heartbeat of Brazil’s communities. It’s become second nature to send a zap to a business to get questions answered. Now in addition to viewing a store’s catalog, customers will be able to send payments for products as well".

Users will also be able to pay friends and family according to the blog post.

Will UK users be able to use Whatsapp pay?

It looks likely.

Speaking ahead of the launch of the trial in India last year Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg indicated that they woul be looking to roll out the feature beyond emerging economies.

He said: "We're also working beyond India in a number of other countries and hope to have this rolled out to a large percent of the people who use WhatsApp within the next year."

And in its latest blog post Whatsapp has indicated that the company will look to roll the app out to all customers, signing off:  "we look forward to bringing it to everyone as we go forward."