Facebook chooses London for its Whatsapp mobile payment gateway

Facebook chooses London for its Whatsapp mobile payment gateway, resulting in a boost of hopes of London to becoming the center of the technology hub, as reported by Financial Times.

It's also an indication of the company's plan to monetize the messaging service.

Whatsapp which currently has 1.5 Billion users worldwide, will increase its manpower by a fraction by hiring 80 to 100 new employees.

Most of the software engineers will be appointed in London with extra operational workforce employed in Dublin.

WhatsApp is considerably more popular in the UK as compared to the US, plus, the UK attracts a multicultural workforce from various countries such as India, where the Whatsapp is very popular, said Facebook.

The new team will develop a payments function as well as products that concentrate on safety.

Last week Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg announced that WhatsApp’s mobile payments would originate in several countries this year, moreover, he added that he was “particularly excited” regarding the development after an introductory test in India.

In the F8 developer's conference, Mark Zuckerberg claimed that digital payment system is one of the important areas where Facebook can innovate in some capacity. He said that, “I believe it should be as easy to send money to someone as it is to send a photo”.

Senior engineers from the WhatsApp establishing team were sent to London late last year to recruit people, WhatsApp’s chief operating officer Matthew Idema said, "We’re eager to work with some of the best technical and operational experts in both London and Dublin to take WhatsApp into its second decade. WhatsApp is a truly global service and these teams will help us provide WhatsApp payments and other great features for our users everywhere”.

Despite being one of the most popular apps in the market, The California-based company, Whatsapp only has approximately 400 employees.

While the app is most successful in countries like India, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico, it had not built a regional office anywhere until late last year, when it approved an India head in time for the country’s elections.

A professor at Harvard University Claire Wardle, who studies the spread of fake news on social media globally said, “That’s ultimately the challenge of WhatsApp. Since 2016, there has been a focus on political misinformation, but globally there is a huge problem with scientific and health misinformation, such as anti-vaxxers, as well,”.

The messaging service has been trying to develop a machine-learning team that can recognize patterns of abuse in bulk messaging, and also classify user reports to spot harmful content. The European teams will work on these products globally, WhatsApp said.

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