Daily Crunch: WhatsApp launches payments

Anthony Ha

WhatsApp is adding support for in-app payments, Apple is upgrading the MacBook Pro and Mac Pro desktop and we argue about the future of startup hubs.

Here's your Daily Crunch for June 15, 2020.

1. WhatsApp finally launches payments, starting in Brazil

After months of talks and trials, WhatsApp has finally pulled the trigger on payments. Users in Brazil will be the first to be able to send and receive money through the messaging app, using Facebook Pay.

WhatsApp says that the payments service — which currently is free for consumers to use, but comes with a 3.99% processing fee for businesses receiving payments — will work by way of a six-digit PIN or fingerprint to complete transactions.

2. Apple adds new MacBook Pro graphics option and Mac Pro SSD upgrade kit

A week before kicking off WWDC, Apple introduced a pair of upgrades to its pro-level hardware lines. Both the 16-inch MacBook Pro and the Mac Pro desktop are getting select internal upgrades, starting today.

3. 3 perspectives on the future of SF and NYC as startup hubs

Three TechCrunch writers address one of the big questions about the future: Will tech continue to centralize in hubs like San Francisco and New York City, or will remote work and all the other second-order effects lead to a more decentralized startup ecosystem? (Extra Crunch membership required.)

4. Interstellar Technologies’ privately developed MOMO-5 rocket falls short of reaching space

The company first launched a vehicle in 2017, but the launch didn’t go exactly as planned and failed to reach space. In 2019, its MOMO-3 sounding rocket did break the Karman line, though just barely, and unfortunately its MOMO-5 sounding rocket launched over the weekend did not make space, as planned.

5. Introducing The Exchange, your daily dive into the private markets

The Exchange is Alex Wilhelm's regular dive into the financial side of the startup world, and how the public markets exert gravity (or lift) on private companies. These themes might sound familiar to Daily Crunch readers, since we've linked to plenty of Alex's pieces, but now it's an official column with an official name.

6. Tesla’s US-made Model 3 vehicles now come equipped with wireless charging and USB-C ports

Tesla Model 3 vehicles produced at its Fremont, Calif. factory will reportedly come standard with a wireless charging pad and USB-C ports, upgrades that were first spotted by Drive Tesla Canada.

7. This week's TechCrunch podcasts

The latest full-length episode of Equity discusses Facebook's new startup venture fund, while the Monday news roundup covers the latest problems at Quibi. Over at Original Content, we review the latest season of "Queer Eye."

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch's roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you'd like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

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