Highlights \tWhatsApp introduces Flows, a feature aimed at simplifying the purchase of goods and services within the app. \tThe service has been in beta testing with multiple businesses globally. \tFlows aims to add value not just to e-commerce but to other sectors as well. \tThe feature will integrate into WhatsApp’s existing payment model. In a bid to elevate the standard messaging service, WhatsApp is continuously experimenting with business-centric capabilities. Although their focus on business features is nothing new, this week witnessed the rollout of a noteworthy addition called "Flows." Flows: The New Commerce Channel on WhatsApp Unveiled earlier this week, Flows is a novel commerce feature aimed at facilitating the buying of goods and services right within the WhatsApp interface. Be it securing a train ticket, ordering a meal, or scheduling an appointment, Flows intends to streamline these processes. WhatsApp has been in trials with numerous businesses for the implementation of Flows, including Brazilian financial institution Banco Pan, retailer MagaLu, tech company Lenovo, and India’s travel service redBus, among others. The Purpose Behind Flows As articulated by Nikila Srinivasan, the VP of business messaging at Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, "Flows is designed to enrich the shopping and e-commerce experiences within the messaging app." While it is predominantly leveraged by e-commerce sectors, WhatsApp has plans to expand its application to varied types of businesses in the future. New Commerce Channel on WhatsApp WhatsApp's Revenue Model for Flows Interestingly, Meta will not bill businesses separately for using Flows. WhatsApp already charges for business interactions, which are categorized into four types: marketing, utility, authentication, and service. Flows would be integrated into this existing model, aligning particularly with the utility segment when, for example, a customer books an appointment. New Payment Partnerships To amplify its impact, WhatsApp has partnered with online payment solution providers Razorpay and PayU. These partnerships will permit users to transact with businesses via various methods, including cards and UPI (Unified Payments Interface). Mark Zuckerberg on WhatsApp's Impact in India In a recent virtual address at the Conversations event in Mumbai, Meta's CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged India’s role as a global leader in the adoption of messaging for personal and business interactions. FAQs What is WhatsApp's Flows? Flows is a newly launched feature by WhatsApp that enables users to purchase products and services directly within the app. How does Flows fit into WhatsApp's current business model? Flows will be integrated into WhatsApp’s existing payment model, which charges businesses for different types of interactions within a 24-hour window. Are there any partnerships for online payments? WhatsApp has joined hands with online payment solution providers Razorpay and PayU to facilitate transactions via cards and UPI. What did Mark Zuckerberg say about WhatsApp in India? Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged India’s pioneering role in adopting messaging for both personal and business use, during a virtual event in Mumbai.