WhatsApp to trial cryptocurrency payments using Meta’s Novi wallet

The testing, which started six weeks ago, is currently limited to a select number of users in the United States

Social messaging app WhatsApp has begun testing cryptocurrency payments using the USDP stablecoin via Meta’s digital currency wallet, Novi.

The head of Novi – Stephane Kasriel – revealed further details about the trial in a series of tweets outlining the reasons behind the move.

In the thread, Kasriel said that “a limited number of people in the US” will be able to send and receive money using the USDP (Pax dollar) stablecoin – a cryptocurrency that has a relative value equal to one dollar.

Designed for sending money to family and friends worldwide, the Novi pilot was initially launched six weeks ago following feedback from WhatsApp users wishing to send funds globally with no fees.

According to Kasriel, “payments will appear directly in people’s chat” after being sent and can then be held in a Novi account or transferred to a bank account.

Kasriel also said that Novi is still “very early in the Novi pilot journey” and will assess the decision to expand to different regions “once we’ve heard from people what they think of this new experience.”

Further information from Novi on the trial period reveals that transfers will be instant and as easy “as sending a message” to another WhatsApp user.

Novi wallet USDP

An example image from Novi showing the wallet will integrate into WhatsApp

The wallet is also doubling down on platform security, saying it has “built-in controls and 24/7 account monitoring” to detect and flag suspicious activity.

Privacy also remains key for Novi, who says it will encrypt sensitive financial information and uploaded documents and not affect the privacy of personal messages.

Additionally, the wallet reiterated its stance towards zero fees for users, saying that Novi “has no fees to send money and no limits on how frequently you can send money”.

The pilot scheme, which was initially announced in October, follows Facebook’s rebranding to ‘Meta’ and its lofty ambitions within the expansive ‘metaverse‘ environment.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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