What's next for WhatsApp? It looks like digital payments

WhatsApp, the messaging platform with over one billion users, is reportedly set to launch person-to-person payments in its largest market soon.

The Facebook-owned firm hopes to get digital transactions off the ground in India in the next six months, according to The Ken (via Reuters). WhatsApp counts 200 million users in the country.

Further backing up the claim is a job posting for a Digital Transactions Lead, India on the WhatsApp website. When asked about its plans for digital payments, including launching in India and elsewhere eventually, a WhatsApp spokesperson sent us the following statement: 

"India is an important country for WhatsApp, and we're understanding how we can contribute more to the vision of Digital India," the spokesperson said. "We're exploring how we might work with companies that share this vision and continuing to listen closely to feedback from our users."

No details on how exactly these exchanges work were revealed, but since Facebook Messenger lets users send virtual cash to one another, it's no surprise WhatsApp is following suit.

While WhatsApp is focused on one region for now, a successful launch could potentially lead to digital payments rolling out to all users. As services look for ways to keep users in their apps for longer, this could be yet one more way WhatsApp convinces folks there's no reason to ever leave.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.