WhatsApp has announced several new features for businesses in India at Meta’s second annual Conversations conference in Mumbai. The features include Flows, which enables businesses to customize chat experiences for customers; Payments, which allows users to pay for businesses within the chat; and Meta Verified, which gives businesses additional advantages and a badge of authenticity.
Flows is a feature that lets businesses create rich menus and forms within the chat so customers can perform various actions without leaving the conversation. For example, a bank can make way for customers to book an appointment to open a new account, a food delivery service can build a way to place an order from any of their partner restaurants, or an airline can build a way to check in for a flight and pick a seat. In the coming weeks, Flows will be accessible to companies utilizing the WhatsApp Business Platform worldwide.
Payments is a feature that makes it simpler to finish a transaction in chat. Customers in India can now add things to their shopping carts and transfer payments using the method of their choice, including debit and credit cards and any of the supported UPI apps. To make paying for something as easy as sending a message, WhatsApp collaborates with partners Razorpay and PayU. Payments is currently live in Brazil and Singapore as well.
Meta Verified is a feature that enables businesses to prove their authenticity to Meta, thus earning a verified badge, receiving enhanced account support, and safeguarding against impersonation. Businesses seeking Meta Verified status must demonstrate their legitimacy to Meta, and in return, they will be granted a verified badge, enjoy improved account support, and benefit from impersonation protection. Additionally, Meta Verified provides premium features like creating a customized WhatsApp page that is easily discoverable via web search and multi-device support for multiple employees to handle customer inquiries. To begin, Meta will conduct tests of the Meta Verified feature with small businesses using the WhatsApp Business app, with plans to later extend it to businesses on the WhatsApp Business Platform. This phased approach allows Meta to gather feedback and refine the feature before widespread implementation.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Meta, said India was at the forefront of many of the innovations WhatsApp introduced at the conference. “You’re leading the world in terms of how people and businesses have embraced messaging as the better way to get things done,” he said in a pre-recorded address. India is one of the biggest markets for WhatsApp, with more than 500 million users in the country.