WhatsApp, the popular messaging app owned by Facebook, has launched a new payment feature in Singapore, allowing residents to pay local businesses directly through their WhatsApp chat. The new feature, supported by payment service provider Stripe, enables customers and businesses to buy and sell goods and services without the need to visit a website, open another app, or pay in person.

The launch of the payment feature in Singapore follows a successful trial period that began in June 2020. During the trial, WhatsApp worked with several local businesses to test the payment feature and gather feedback. The company said that the feedback was positive, and that it received requests from more businesses to join the program.

With the launch of the payment feature in Singapore, customers will be able to make payments using their Visa or Mastercard debit or credit cards, which are supported by Stripe. In addition, the payment feature is secured with end-to-end encryption, ensuring that payment information is kept private and secure.

The launch of the payment feature is expected to provide a boost for local businesses, many of which have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the new feature, businesses will be able to reach a wider audience, while customers will be able to make purchases conveniently from their WhatsApp chat.

However, the launch of the payment feature also raises questions about data privacy and security. WhatsApp has faced criticism in the past over its data-sharing policies with Facebook, and the launch of the payment feature may raise additional concerns among users. WhatsApp has stated that it is committed to protecting user privacy and will not store payment information after a transaction is completed.

Overall, the launch of the payment feature in Singapore is a significant step for WhatsApp as it looks to expand its presence in the digital payments space. With the new feature, the company is well-positioned to compete with other popular payment services in the region, such as GrabPay and PayLah!.

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