Early last week at Facebook’s 2019 developer & entrepreneur conference, called F8, Mark Zuckerberg announced several (rather significant) tidbits of up and coming advancements from his suite of social & tech platforms.

These included a fresh Facebook Messenger App for desktop on Mac OS & Windows, a brand new Facebook mobile app and a refreshed design and user experience for the Facebook website, which is to be rebuilt from scratch. Instagram is also getting shopping enhancements, Facebook’s conference-call device, Portal, is getting video encryption, offering water-tight privacy to the same level enjoyed by WhatsApp users currently, and Facebook will also be launching new Oculus Virtual Reality head ware.

The announcement we’re most excited about today is for a new shopping experience and payment gateway being tested out currently by WhatsApp Business.

WhatsApp Business is running a shopping platform referred to as ‘Product Catalogs’, which should offer a product browsing experience to WhatsApp users, and give small businesses access to a market that is 1.5 billion users strong.

WhatsApp are testing out the in-chat payment system currently for a million users across India.

According to BankBazaar, the system allows users to make a payment to anyone on their list of WhatsApp contacts. Thanks to partnership with some of India’s largest banks, WhatsApp are taking the process further by allowing users to exchange money without needing to send the IFSC code typically required by banks. Due to this innovative interface, this greatly streamlines the process of making safe & secure transactions.

Why you should care?

This foray into eCommerce by Facebook & WhatsApp is indicative of where the industry as a whole is headed. The wants and needs of users are what drive innovation for Facebook. This is a glimpse into how the marketplace for products is evolving, and how much more eCommerce is and will be integrated into people’s everyday lives.

There is little doubt that – should this tech provide enough convenience to the Indian market – it will be fiercely adopted globally, wherever WhatsApp has presence.

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