Do you use Meta’s messaging service WhatsApp?

If your answer is no, that’s not uncommon for people who live in Canada and the United States.

The messaging app, which Facebook (now Meta) bought nine years ago for $19 billion, is much more popular in Europe, South America and Asia with more than two billion users worldwide. (See chart below).

My daughter lives in the UK and WhatsApp has been our main form of communication for several years now.

What’s interesting is that WhatsApp is set to become a much bigger driver of Meta’s revenue and earnings because the company is converting it to a “super app” capable of payments and transactions.

Super apps such as WeChat are big in Asia and Meta wants in on the opportunity.

Here’s the latest on Meta’s plans for WhatsApp.

by Insider Intelligence

Meta is converting WhatsApp into a super app by enabling payments and transactions within its ecosystem, per 9to5Mac.

WhatsApp users in Singapore can now pay local merchants in chats using the popular messaging app.

  • Meta wants online merchants to sell their products without redirecting customers to another online platform or a physical store.
  • WhatsApp partnered with Stripe in Singapore to launch its payments platform.
  • “This seamless and secure experience will be a game-changer for people and businesses looking to buy and sell on WhatsApp without having to go to a website, switch apps, or pay in person,” said the company in a press release.

Why it’s worth watching: Meta is betting on video, messaging, and AI apps to grow its business.

The company is leveraging WhatsApp’s dominance, with over 2 billion users worldwide.

  • “We really see that messaging is the next pillar for our business—you’re going to continue to see us investing in this space,” said Nicola Mendelssohn, vice president of the Global Business Group for Meta.
  • “We’re living in a messaging-first world and are seeing that over a billion people are connecting with a business account across our messaging services every single week,” Mendelssohn said.
  • Singapore follows Brazil in enabling WhatsApp payments, a sign that Meta is looking to scale payments globally within its messaging platform.
  • Meta says WhatsApp’s payments are designed to be secure. Card numbers are encrypted and securely stored, and people are required to create a Payment PIN and use it for each payment.

Our take: Mobile payments are the necessary cog to expand various services including retail, deliveries, and banking—expect WhatsApp to roll out chat payments in other regions.


Related stories: Don’t Count Out Meta Just Yet