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WhatsApp and Stripe partnership could be 'gamechanger' for marketers


By Preethi Ravi, Journalist

May 16, 2023 | 6 min read

Meta's partnership with payment platform Stripe to provide in-app payment services within WhatsApp for Singaporean users has been described as a "gamechanger" for marketers.

WhatsApp launches pay feature for businesses and users

Meta partners with payment platform Stripe to provide in-app payment services for Singaporean users. Photo: Anton

The service is available for Singaporean business accounts on the WhatsApp Business Platform and follows successful launches in India and Brazil.

The feature enables consumers and businesses to buy and sell products and services directly within a chat and ensures a personalised customer experience without needing a website or application to make transactions.

According to research by HubSpot and YouGov, two-thirds (67%) of Singaporeans find it convenient to communicate with businesses through WhatsApp, and 61% prefer to use WhatsApp over other messaging platforms when inquiring about a product or service from a company.

The Drum asked industry experts for their views on the move and its impact on marketers.

Carlos Matriano, head of innovation & eCommerce at OMG APAC

"Given the widespread use of WhatsApp across APAC, this move can be seen as a game-changer for both Meta and marketers as it now provides an additional touchpoint, increasing a brand's digital availability and providing another way for consumers to purchase their goods and services. This functionality has been an eagerly awaited event, with WhatsApp now heading in the same direction as superapps such as WeChat and Naver, which transitioned from a communications tool to a full-on lifestyle platform.

"Marketers need to utilise WhatsApp as part of a full-funnel approach. The WhatsApp platform offers marketers the opportunity to use everything from images, audio, video and chatbots, all whilst engaging consumers in a direct format. This represents a much better experience than traditional newsletters or social media posts, given the highly direct and responsive communication format, with marketers being able to leverage promotions and tactical executions on this channel. Marketers should be prepared for those interactions with a thought-out consumer engagement protocol and well-defined customer service process before going live. Marketers should also look to future-proof customer experiences by looking at other functionalities and experiences that they can integrate into their WhatsApp communities by taking inspiration from markets like China and Korea, which have built out consumer journeys leveraging multiple layers of engagement."

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Kat Warboys, director, APAC at HubSpot

"Customers today hold brands to high standards when it comes to their interactions. They expect streamlined and straightforward processes across touchpoints, from initial enquiries to payment to after-sales support. But above all, customers desire a deeper and more meaningful connection with the brands they engage with. Armed with greater choices and knowledge at their fingertips, customers are more than willing to go elsewhere if these needs are not met.

"At a time when budgets are being streamlined, marketers need to get more creative and seek new avenues of growth. Using WhatsApp offers businesses in Singapore an ideal opportunity to connect directly with a large user base. It also enables businesses to foster valuable relationships, engage customers immediately, and gain insights into their needs. From the survey, it's evident that convenience, response time, and ease of use are the main reasons why Singaporean consumers see WhatsApp as their go-to channel for interacting with businesses.

"Customers are digitally drained, and communication channels are oversaturated. This makes it more crucial than ever for businesses to meet their customers on their preferred channel.

Juda Kanaprach, co-founder at Milieu Insight

"This newly launched feature presents many opportunities for marketers to leverage the platform to drive sales, enhance branding, and build meaningful customer relationships. Marketers can easily track the success of their marketing campaigns through purchases made in WhatsApp private chats and help build brand-customer relationships even after purchases. With customer experience becoming more important than ever, removing any friction between chat and purchase is critical - especially with Singapore's high smartphone penetration rate; consumers are increasingly browsing, researching, and purchasing on their mobile.According to Milieu Insight's latest research, 92% in Singapore are regularly exposed to their smartphone, and over 6 in 10 consider shopping part of their daily life.

"Marketers should consider developing strategies and guidelines to enhance the buyer's journey in a fully mobile environment, including getting to know the user, informing them of potential purchases, and building the trust needed to convert."

Stephane Kasriel, head of FinTech at Meta

"People want to connect with a business the same way they chat with their friends and family — with personal messaging to get fast, expected and helpful information on the platform of their choice. And once they build an engaging messaging experience, brands are able to drive customers to WhatsApp – with Facebook and Instagram ads that click to WhatsApp. And they are building experiences that are helpful, like offering utility by sending updates such as delivery confirmations, providing timely and personal service, enabling shopping by showcasing goods and services, and then re-engaging customers with valuable offers and updates they ask to receive.

"In Singapore, the ability to pay local businesses right from their WhatsApp chat makes this a seamless and secure experience, letting people and businesses buy and sell directly on WhatsApp without having to go to a website, open another app or pay in person.

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