Meta has not stopped developing its digital wallet, Novi, despite opposition from some senators in the United States.
Meta’s e-payments and bitcoin banking unit Novi, headed by Stephen Kasriel, announced this week that WhatsApp, a subsidiary of Meta’s Messenger service, has begun testing transactions through Meta’s Novi wallet.
A “limited number of people” will be able to use the new feature in the U.S., which will let users send and receive money on WhatsApp “instantly and without fees.”
Since introducing the Novi pilot in mid-October, Meta has been able to test and learn which features and functionalities are “most important to people.” He added that using Novi does not affect the security of personal messages and calls on WhatsApp, “which are always end-to-end encrypted.”
According to Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp at Meta, some U.S. users can now send and receive money over WhatsApp using Novi. Novi will make it easier for people to send money securely, instantly, and without paying a fee to their loved ones, he said in an email.
A digital currency pilot was officially launched by Meta, formerly Facebook, along with a major crypto exchange, Coinbase and stablecoin firm, Paxos in October. Pax Dollar, a dollar-denominated stablecoin issued by blockchain trust company, Paxos, was initially used in the U.S. and Guatemala.
Meta has been accused of accepting deposits without a bank charter by the Open Markets Institute, a U.S. nonprofit organization.
USD Coin and Tether are the top two stablecoins, but USDP is one of the smallest.
As the Open Markets Institute noted, there are several legal and regulatory implications for Facebook’s pilot that need to be addressed by the agencies.