While WhatsApp Pay has seen a very slow rollout, as it’s just available in Brazil and India, the company has announced today another payment system option specifically for the US with the ability to transfer cryptocurrency using the app.

As announced by WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart and Novi’s CEO Stephane Kasriel, WhatsApp now lets a small number of people in the US send and receive money using Novi on the messenger app.

According to Novi’s web page, the service is a “new way to send and receive money” without fees. It gives users the ability to transfer money “without ever leaving your WhatsApp chat.”

To start using Novi on WhatsApp, just follow these steps:

  • On WhatsApp, find the contact you’d like to send money to and open the chat
  • Tap the + icon on your iPhone
  • Select Payment in the menu
  • Follow on-screen instructions to log in to your Novi account or create a new one
  • Start sending and receiving money

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Facebook’s – now Meta’s – plans to let users pay with cryptocurrency on WhatsApp. In a 2018 report, Bloomberg said the company was working on a “stablecoin”:

The company is developing a stablecoin — a type of digital currency pegged to the U.S. dollar — to minimize volatility, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal plans.

Now, three years later, here it’s WhatsApp partnering with Novi to offer users the ability to transfer money using cryptocurrency.

Apart from the US, this new test program should be available in Guatemala, but as WABetaInfo notes, it’s still not available, although its citizens can join the trial via the standalone Novi app.

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About the Author

José Adorno

Brazilian tech Journalist. Author at 9to5Mac. Previously at tv globo, the main TV broadcaster in Latin America.

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