Meta’s WhatsApp Launches Payments Pilot With Novi Crypto Wallet

Meta, facebook, WhatsApp, pilot, Novi crypto wallet, payments

WhatsApp is launching a new pilot powered by Novi, Meta’s digital wallet, allowing some people in the U.S. to send and receive money from within a chat using cryptocurrency, according to multiple reports.

The payments can be sent and received using Pax Dollars (USDP), a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar issued by Paxos, Novi’s incoming head Stephane Kasriel and WhatsApp’s Will Cathcart announced on Twitter.

See also: Capturing the Global Cryptocurrency Payments Opportunity

Issuing a payment is similar to sending any attachment on WhatsApp, according to the Novi website. There are no fees to send or receive funds and no limits on the number of payments, which are transferred in real time.

The pilot is rooted in Meta’s (formerly Facebook) cryptocurrency plans, which now comprise the Novi wallet and Pax Dollars as part of the company Paxos and using the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.

WhatsApp is already offering payments using fiat currencies in other parts of the world, including India and Brazil.

Read more: WhatsApp Beta Version Hints at P2P Payments in US

Last month, code found in a WhatsApp version under development pointed to integration with Novi as well as a digital payment system, PYMNTS reported. It was unclear at the time if the beta coding would become part of WhatsApp or if the version being tested would become part of WhatsApp Pay in the U.S.

Facebook rebranded as Meta on Oct. 28. Its cryptocurrency Libra was rebranded as Diem in 2020, and the Libra Association was renamed Diem Association. Its digital wallet was also renamed Novi from Calibra.

In October, the social media giant announced the beta launch of its social virtual reality platform Horizon Worlds, which works alongside Oculus Quest. Horizon includes a workplace collaboration version called Horizon Workrooms, where attendees in remote work meetings can interact with avatars.

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