WhatsApp starts prepping Novi integration for payments

WhatsApp starts prepping Novi integration for payments

Towards the end of last month, we spotted some new strings in an APK teardown of WhatsApp v2.21.22.6 beta. The strings suggested that WhatsApp might soon require identity verification for payments. While WhatsApp India subsequently issued a statement claiming that it didn’t require identity verification in India, we’ve now spotted some evidence to suggest that the messenger may require users to submit documents in other regions. However, the identity verification seems to be related to the upcoming Novi wallet integration and not WhatsApp’s current payments offerings.

An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by the developers in a future build.

For the unaware, Novi is a digital wallet from WhatsApp’s parent company that uses digital currencies to simplify international money transfers. The service is currently available in the US and Guatemala for sending and receiving money using Pax Dollar (USDP) — a stable cryptocurrency backed one-to-one by the US dollar. With its recent name change, Facebook Meta announced that it’s unifying all its payments and financial services units under the Novi brand, and WhatsApp also seems to be gearing up for this change.

We’ve spotted new lines of code in WhatsApp 2.21.23.10 beta that point towards the Novi integration. The strings reveal that WhatsApp will soon let users add their Novi accounts to the service to transfer money internationally.

New strings in WhatsApp 2.21.23.10 beta

<string name="novi_advantage">Send money instantly and securely to anyone in the world — for free. Built for libra, a digital currency.</string>

<string name="novi_bloks_doc_upload_failed_message">There was an issue uploading your document. Try submitting it again.</string>
<string name="novi_camera_permission_granted_before">"To help Novi verify your identity, WhatsApp will access your device's camera and stored media. You can deny access at any time.  Novi encrypts and securely stores your photo or video."</string>
<string name="novi_camera_permission_need_both">"To help Novi verify your identity, give WhatsApp access to your device's camera and stored media. You can deny access at any time. Novi encrypts and securely stores your photo or video."</string>
<string name="novi_camera_permission_need_both_previous_decline">"To help Novi verify your identity, go to settings and give WhatsApp access to your device's camera and storage. You can deny access at any time. Novi encrypts and securely stores your photo or video."</string>
<string name="novi_camera_permission_need_both_previous_decline_v30">"To help Novi verify your identity, go to settings and give WhatsApp access to your device's camera and files and media. You can deny access at any time. Novi encrypts and securely stores your photo or video."</string>
<string name="novi_camera_permission_need_camera">"To help Novi verify your identity, give WhatsApp access to your device's camera. You can deny access at any time. Novi encrypts and securely stores your photo or video."</string>
<string name="novi_camera_permission_need_camera_previous_decline">"To help Novi verify your identity, go to settings and give WhatsApp access to your device's camera. You can deny access at any time. Novi encrypts and securely stores your photo or video."</string>
<string name="novi_camera_permission_need_storage">"To help Novi verify your identity, give WhatsApp access to your device's stored media. You can deny access at any time. Novi encrypts and securely stores your photo or video."</string>
<string name="novi_camera_permission_need_storage_previous_decline">"To help Novi verify your identity, go to settings and give WhatsApp access to your device's storage. You can deny access at any time. Novi encrypts and securely stores your photo or video."</string>
<string name="novi_camera_permission_need_storage_previous_decline_v30">"To help Novi verify your identity, go to settings and give WhatsApp access to your device's files and media. You can deny access at any time. Novi encrypts and securely stores your photo or video."</string>

<string name="novi_description">Sign up for Novi to send money across the world instantly—with no fees. Novi is a secure digital wallet from Facebook that you can use on WhatsApp.</string>
<string name="novi_dialog_continue">Continue</string>
<string name="novi_dialog_exit">Exit</string>
<string name="novi_download_info">Download your information</string>
<string name="novi_download_info_desc">Get a copy of your Novi information.</string>
<string name="novi_esign_agreement">E-Sign agreement</string>
<string name="novi_fingerprint">Log in using device security</string>
<string name="novi_fingerprint_description">Log into Novi on WhatsApp using your fingerprint instead of your password. %1$s</string>
<string name="novi_fingerprint_password_bypass">Use Novi Password</string>
<string name="novi_fingerprint_start">Confirm fingerprint</string>
<string name="novi_fingerprint_title">Log into Novi</string>

<string name="novi_hide_transaction_limitation_info">"Your Novi account access is limited, so your Novi transactions can't be viewed."</string>
<string name="novi_hub_all_transactions">All Novi transactions</string>
<string name="novi_invite_contact_ineligible">To receive a payment, %s needs to set up payments in WhatsApp</string>
<string name="novi_manage_top_up_card">Manage default card</string>
<string name="novi_manage_top_up_card_desc">"When you don't have enough money in your Novi balance to complete a transaction, your default card will be used to cover the difference."</string>

<string name="novi_payment_invite_bottom_sheet_title">Invite %1$s to use Novi</string>
<string name="novi_payment_invite_status_text_inbound">"%1$s invited you to set up a Novi account so you can send and receive money. They'll be notified when you're ready."</string>
<string name="novi_payment_invite_status_text_outbound">You invited %1$s to use Novi for payments.</string>
<string name="novi_payment_methods">Novi payment methods</string>
<string name="novi_payment_multi_invite_bottom_sheet_body">To send and receive payments, people need to set up Novi accounts on WhatsApp.</string>
<string name="novi_payment_multi_invite_bottom_sheet_title">Send payment invites</string>
<string name="novi_payment_multi_invite_title">Send invites to use Novi</string>

<string name="novi_payment_transaction_details_powered_by_label">Powered by Novi</string>
<string name="novi_payment_transaction_details_receiver_status_desc_success">Payment is in your Novi balance.</string>
<string name="novi_payment_transaction_details_refund_desc_claim_approved">We returned money to your account as part of your claim.</string>
<string name="novi_payment_transaction_details_refund_desc_novi_declined_transaction">We returned money to your account for a transaction that went against our Terms of Service or Policies.</string>

<string name="novi_remove_account_description">Stop using Novi for payments on WhatsApp but keep your Novi account open.</string>
<string name="novi_remove_account_title">Remove Novi from WhatsApp</string>

<string name="novi_selfie_capture_instructions_one">Raise your phone up to eye level.</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_capture_instructions_three">Avoid shadows and remove hats, sunglasses and masks.</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_capture_instructions_title">Before you start recording</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_capture_instructions_two">Place your face in the oval.</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_display_tilt_head_down">Tilt down</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_display_tilt_head_up">Tilt up</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_display_turn_head_left">Turn left</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_display_turn_head_right">Turn right</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_follow_face_instruction">Turn your head in the same direction as the face</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_review_and_submit">Review and submit</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_review_instruction">Make sure your face is fully visible and moving in the correct directions</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_review_retake">Retake Video</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_review_submit">Submit Video</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_security_disclaimer">This video will be encrypted and securely stored by Novi.</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_start_selfie_capture">Record Video</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_tts_tilt_head_down">Tilt your head down</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_tts_tilt_head_up">Tilt your head up</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_tts_turn_head_left">Turn your head left</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_tts_turn_head_right">Turn your head right</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_upload_in_background">Upload in background</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_upload_media">Novi: uploading video</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_upload_media_failed">There was an issue uploading your video. Try submitting it again.</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_upload_media_progress_percentage">%1$d%%</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_upload_progress">%1$s/%2$s</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_upload_progress_description">"This could take up to one minute. You can continue using WhatsApp while this uploads in the background. We'll let you know when it's finished."</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_uploading">Uploading selfie…</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_verify_failed">"Novi couldn't verify your video selfie. Retake it to gain access to your Novi account."</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_verify_in_background">Verify in background</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_verify_progress_description">"This could take up to one minute. You can continue using WhatsApp while this verifies in the background. We'll let you know when it's finished."</string>
<string name="novi_selfie_verify_success">Your video selfie has been verified and you are now logged in to your Novi account.</string>

The strings clearly state that users will have to submit identity documents to start using Novi for payments. Users will also have to submit a video selfie for identity verification. WABetaInfo has also spotted evidence of the Novi integration and shared the following screenshot, which gives us our first look at the feature.

WhatsApp Novi integration

It’s worth mentioning that Novi’s website also states that users will have to verify their identity using a valid government-issued photo ID to use the digital wallet. This confirms that WhatsApp will require users to submit identity documents to make payments, as we mentioned previously. However, this requirement will be limited to regions where WhatsApp uses Novi for payments. Since WhatsApp uses UPI in India, Indian users won’t have to submit identity verification documents to use WhatsApp Pay as there’s nothing to indicate that this change is coming to India.

At the moment, we have no further details about the Novi integration. We’ll make sure to let you know as soon as it rolls out with a future WhatsApp update.

About author

Pranob Mehrotra
Pranob Mehrotra

A Literature and Linguistics graduate with a keen interest in everything Android. When not writing about tech, Pranob spends most of his time either playing League of Legends or lurking on Reddit.