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Signal starts testing payments feature with support for MOB cryptocurrency

Signal says it wants payments on its platform to be fast, private, and also work well on mobile devices. 

Signal says you can also transfer your funds at any time if you want to switch to another app or service. Signal says you can also transfer your funds at any time if you want to switch to another app or service.
Signal says you can also transfer your funds at any time if you want to switch to another app or service. (Signal)

Signal on Tuesday announced that it is testing a peer-to-peer payments system on its platform.

Signal added that it has added support for a payments network called MobileCoin, which offers its own cryptocurrency, MOB. The payments system is currently available to a select group of users in the UK through the latest Signal betas.

According to Signal, the new payment system makes it easier for users to connect a MobileCoin wallet to the instant messaging app. The interlinking allows users to send funds to their friends and family, receive funds, and also keep a track of all the transactions.

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The company stressed that the support for MobileCoin does not mean it will access users’ data.

“As always, our goal is to keep your data in your hands rather than ours; MobileCoin’s design means Signal does not have access to your balance, full transaction history, or funds. You can also transfer your funds at any time if you want to switch to another app or service,” Signal wrote in a blog post.

An overview of MOB crypto support on Signal
An overview of MOB crypto support on Signal (Signal)

The association with MobileCoin is not surprising as Signal co-founder and CEO Moxie Marlinspike has served as an advisor for the company,  notes pocket-lint.

ALSO READ: Signal jokes about WhatsApp's "downtime", reports spike in user registrations

Signal has gained traction in the last few months as more people are now looking for more secure peer-to-peer messaging applications. Signal is considered among the most secured ones. The platform saw a surge in downloads earlier this year after Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced new terms and policy for its users. According to January Sensor Tower data, Signal registered 26.4 million downloads between January 4 and January 17.

Signal Payments will most likely be compared with rival WhatsApp’s.

WhatsApp Pay officially rolled out in India in November last year. The company had first introduced the system in 2018. The feature, however, stayed in the beta phase. Unlike Signal’s bet on cryptocurrency, WhatsApp Pay in India leverages the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). You can learn more about WhatsApp Pay here.

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