Facebook picks London for WhatsApp payments, despite Brexit

Mark Johnson's picture

In a move that will be seen by many as a vote of confidence in Brexit troubled Britain, social media platform Facebook has chosen London as the base for a new team dedicated to bringing payments to its WhatsApp messaging service.

According to the Financial Times, WhatsApp will add 100 employees to its 400-strong workforce to help develop the payments functionality as well as address safety and spam issues.

The newspaper also said that most of the workers will be based in London, with others in Dublin. The UK capital was picked, because of its attraction for a multicultural workforce, particularly from countries, such as India, where WhatsApp is most popular, despite the furore over Britain’s now delayed departure from the European Union.

WhassAt? FB setting up WhatsApp payments division in London

The WhatsApp move comes after Facebook announced last month that it was shutting down its peer-to-peer money transfer service on Messenger.

As reported by Prolific London at the time, Facebook said users will no longer be able to make payments through Messenger in the UK or France from 15 June. The Messenger payments service will continue to be offered in the United States, the social network said. 

In February this year Facebook bought London blockchain startup Chainspace in what is thought to be its first acquisition in the blockchain space. 

Facebook made the acquisition in order to hire the firm’s talented five co-founders, a process known in Silicon Valley as an ‘acqui-hire’.

Chainspace is a blockchain start-up specialising in smart contracts and was founded by researchers from University College London. 

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