At the ongoing DLD conference in Munich, WhatsApp founder Jan Koum announced that WhatsApp is now free for all users.
"We don't want anybody to have his communication cut because of a credit card issue" - Jan Koum
The payment option will be removed in the upcoming releases, whereas the company immediately stops charging their users for the service.
Until now, WhatsApp has been charging 0,89 EUR per year and user including a free first year. He further mentioned the current business model was simply not working the way they wanted.
After Facebook bought the company for $19bn in 2014, WhatsApp has been growing continuesly its user base. Currently, over 900 million people are using WhatsApp at least once a month.
- Making WhatsApp free and more useful, WhatsApp Blog (Jan 2016)