In August, Facebook-owned WhatsApp was spotted with a rather new and interesting feature, but this was available in the beta version of the app.
Spotted by the notorious WABetaInfo, WhatsApp beta v2.17.295 came with a feature known as WhatsApp Payments. As the name suggests, this is a feature the popular chat app wants users to use to send money to each other without leaving the platform. At the time, the description of the feature said that it will allow for “bank to bank transfer with UPI”, but up to now, not so much is known about the expected release date of the feature. Not so long ago, it was reported that a number of markets are taking part in the beta testing process of the feature, but the rollout date remains unknown.
As noted, how WhatsApp plans to execute this money transfer from within the app remains unknown. However, our guess is that users may be able to exchange money in the middle of a chat, just like it’s already happening with Facebook Messenger. Of course, you’ll have to link your bank account to the chat app – and probably M-PESA.
Now, in a different approach to just about the same thing, Equity Bank is now taking advantage of the popularity of WhatsApp in the country by allowing users of the Eazzy Banking mobile app to send money to anyone using the chat app. This is a cool move, especially since the recipient of the money doesn’t have to be an Equity Bank member because the money doesn’t go to their account.
How to send money to WhatsApp contacts using Eazzy Banking app
Sending money to WhatsApp contacts using the Eazzy Banking app is very easy. The app is already linked to your bank account and as such, that’s where the money being sent will come from. When you launch the app, don’t bother signing in the usual “Login” way. Rather, on the home screen, you should notice a “Send to WhatsApp” shortcut under the Quick Actions menu.
Tapping on this option reveals a new screen asking you to enter the amount of money you wish to send. The minimum amount allowed is Ksh 100 while the maximum is Ksh 100,000. Upon hitting “Next”, you’ll be prompted to authorize the transaction by entering your PIN. The new screen will display your Equity Bank account (s) and the available balance (s). Select the account you wish to send from and hit “Send Money” at the bottom of the screen that displays the full transaction details, including the cost and the balance.
A message will pop up on your screen asking you to confirm the transaction and once you hit “OK”, you’ll be directed to WhatsApp contacts. A pop-up message warning you of this redirection will show up and you have to accept in order to continue. It’s not advisable to check the “Ok please do not show again” box, better leave it that way for security purposes.
In your WhatsApp contacts list, you can select the person you want to send the money to and the Eazzy Banking app will generate a message that should be sent to the intended recipient. In this message, which appears in the screenshot above, you’ll see the amount sent as well as a code that should be used to withdraw the money through any Equity Bank Agent countrywide, but there is a catch – or perhaps more. Apparently, the recipient needs to withdraw the money within two hours after receiving it, otherwise, it will remain in the sender’s account. Also, the money received must be withdrawn in full – no shortcuts, however, there is no transaction fee, at least on the sender’s side.
I’ve actually sent some money to a friend of mine as I trialed the feature and strange enough, he thinks it’s a prank (seriously?). So, I’m just waiting for two hours and get back my hard-earned Ksh 100.
What do you think about this Eazzy Banking feature? Share your thoughts in the comments below.