Facebook subsidiary WhatsApp is trying to make the social messenger app more user-friendly with new features, particularly for the Indian market. One of these changes, which will see more capabilities added to the instant messenger's payment service, has the potential to decimate established e-wallet companies in India.
WhatsApp, which already runs Unified Payment Interface (UPI) service for users to transact money in India, is testing Quick Response (QR) code scan feature.
Currently, people have to open the payment feature on WhatsApp, add UPI ID and phone numbers and then perform the transaction.
This new QR code scan option is easy to use as it just requires users to point the camera at the QR code to begin the payment transaction. Once identified, WhatsApp will trigger the UPI payment feature and the user can just type in the payment amount and complete the transaction.
This feature is already available in several well-established e-wallet apps such as Paytm, FreeCharge, and Mobikwik in India, but once it arrives in WhatsApp, people will be more inclined to use multi-purpose WhatsApp over other applications, which offer limited service to save space on mobile phones.
Also, QR code payment feature in WhatsApp will definitely help in attracting new users to embrace cashless transaction and thereby give a boost to central government's Digital India initiatives.
As of now, QR code payment feature is still in the beta testing stage for Android (version number: 2.18.93]. If previous roll-out pattern is taken as any indication, it is expected to be made available to the public in a month, most probably before the end of April.
The second value-added feature that Facebook is testing for Whatsapp, will make it easier to search for GIFs, a widely popular picture format shared by the users to communicate.
It is bringing custom categories such as--Trending, LOL, love, sad, happy and dancing, WABetaInfo reported.
GIFs are very popular among users as the picture animations are funny and articulate enough to make the receiver understand their state of mind. Obviously, he/she need not have to type in a single word in messages to make their feeling understood. With this new advanced GIFs option, people will find more appropriate animation clips easily and quickly share with friends. Once released, WhatsApp will surely witness a spike in exchange of messages.
On the New Year's Eve of 2018, WhatsApp suffered an outage in several global regions including India.
WhatsApp registered more than 75 billion exchange of messages on its platform including 13 billion images and 5 billion videos on December 31, 2017, highest single-day record in the social messenger app's history.
This advanced GIFs search feature is coming in the same Android beta version 2.18.93 and is expected to roll out by next month to the public.
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