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Last month, Facebook added a dedicated buy button to WhatsApp. It’s a simple feature that lets you browse a store’s catalog and then, if you find something of interest, start a conversation that will likely lead to a transaction. Although useful, it didn’t have a traditional payment flow. Facebook fixes this somewhat with shopping carts. Now you can browse a catalog and add multiple items. When you’re done, the selections will be shared as a single item (much like sending someone multiple photos) in your conversation with the company. In theory, these groupings should make it easier for traders to accept and track orders.
It’s a small step towards a traditional payment experience. At this time, however, there does not appear to be a formal process for giving out your payment and shipping details. However, WhatsApp is slowly rolling out in-app payments, which might fix the issue. Back in June, the company launched the feature in Brazil. A week later, however, it was ordered to suspend service by the country’s central bank, which wanted to “preserve an adequate competitive environment”. Whatsapp has since made payments in India, with the support of five banks, including Jio Payments Bank. The latter is funded by Reliance Industries, a company that also owns Jio Platforms – a company than Facebook and Google have invested in.