WhatsApp, the messaging app that has a payments component, is expanding the payments types it supports by rolling out the ability to support QR codes for payments.
In an unsourced report, TechCrunch reported the ability to offer monetary transactions via QR code is being enabled for users who are part of the Android beta, with a larger-scale rollout slated for the coming weeks. With the feature, users can send money with QR codes as long as they have WhatsApp Payments.
The mobile app’s ability to support QR codes comes on the heels of the service adding a new feature called Send to UPI ID, which lets users send money to any UPI ID in India. Back in July, TechCrunch reported that WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, received a nod from the Indian government to integrate UPI into the WhatsApp messaging app. By enabling payments, WhatsApp will be competing against Tez from Google, which already supports peer-to-peer payments, and Hike, which has the backing of China’s Tencent. WhatsApp has also added an Advanced GIF Search and Search Stickers functionality. Both were disabled in the latest beta but will appear again in future updates.
In January, the company announced the launch of WhatsApp Business, a free Android app targeted at small and medium-sized businesses. WhatsApp noted the new app will make it easier for small businesses to connect with customers, including its existing 1.3 billion users.
“People all around the world use WhatsApp to connect with small businesses they care about — from online clothing companies in India to auto parts stores in Brazil,” the company wrote. “But WhatsApp was built for people, and we want to improve the business experience. For example, by making it easier for businesses to respond to customers, separating customer and personal messages and creating an official presence.”