Taking a leaf out of WhatsApp’s page, fast-growing messaging platform Signal has announced that it is adding a payments feature into the app that will let users send money to another in cryptocurrency. This new peer-to-peer payments system is currently being tested in the beta version of the app.
The company is calling this feature ‘Signal Payments’ and it will be first made available in the UK. The new payments system will offer support for a privacy-focused payments network called MobileCoin which has its own currency called MOB.
“As always, our goal is to keep your data in your hands rather than ours; MobileCoin’s design means Signal does not have access to your balance, full transaction history, or funds,” said Jun Harada, Signal’s head of growth and communication.
“You can also transfer your funds at any time if you want to switch to another app or service,” he said in a statement late on Tuesday.
As per the company, the aim of launching this new project is to make sure that payments via Signal are fast, private and compatible with the mobile ecosystem.
“Signal Payments makes it easy to link a MobileCoin wallet to Signal so you can start sending funds to friends and family, receive funds from them, keep track of your balance, and review your transaction history with a simple interface,” the company said.
“If you want to give it a spin and let us know what you think, it’s possible to convert to/from MOB on FTX and other exchanges soon”, MobileCoin added.
WhatsApp has already launched a peer-to-peer mobile payments feature which is currently working in India and Brazil. In India, WhatsApp Payments leverages India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to transfer money directly from one user’s bank account to the other.
Currently, it is not clear whether Signal would also adopt India’s UPI for its payments platform which then would be a direct competitor to WhatsApp in India.