WhatsApp presently supports person-to-person payments in Brazil and India, but we could see this changing according to the latest APK teardown of the messaging app as performed by XDA-Developers.
Last month, XDA-Developers found code within a previous version of the WhatsApp beta that suggested it would begin requiring document verification for sending money using the app. In the most recent teardown of a newer version of the app, it appears that the verification is related to a new integration with Meta’s (formerly Facebook) Novi wallet app
The strings of code found are centered around the verification process and they are all labeled with “novi”. This code aligns with a previous report by WABetaInfo who posted the following screenshot, proving that WhatsApp is in the process of testing Novi integration within the messaging app.
Currently, Novi is available to download and there’s an ongoing pilot program for users in the US and Guatemala. Novi lets users send and receive money with no fees across borders by using the Pax Dollar, a digital coin that’s backed by the US dollar. Novi is noted to have shown intention to make its payment system secure and encrypted – likely the reason for requiring its users to verify their identities before being able to use its payment system.
This requirement for verification will only be limited to regions where WhatsApp plans to use Novi for payments. Meanwhile, WhatsApp India uses UPI for payments, so Indian users won’t need to submit verification documents to continue to send or receive money.
There’s no timeline for when you’ll be able to start sending payments, and it’s not clear which regions will be up for the Novi integration into WhatsApp.