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WhatsApp to Roll out Payments Services in India This Year; India is Our Future Says WhatsApp Global Head

Tooba Maher
Tooba Maher

This year WhatsApp will roll out its payments service in the country as said by its global chief Will Cathcart. The Facebook-owned messaging giant taps an upsurge in digital payments in its dominant market. 

California-based firm, the Menlo Park, has been trying to comply with Indian regulations like data storage norms that require all payments-related data to be stored locally."It's a regulatory approval question in India at this point," Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg mentioned on the company's earnings conference call in reference to WhatsApp Pay.

He further added, "We're also working beyond India in a number of other countries and hope to have this rolled out to a large percent of the people who use WhatsApp within the next year."  

Interestingly, WhatsApp now has about 40 crore users in India, a person familiar with the matter stated, encompassing almost a third of India's population of 130 crore. 

This WhatsApp's payments feature would compete with a crowded market in India such as Alphabet Inc's Google Pay, Softbank & Alibaba backed Paytm and Walmart's PhonePe.

It is well known that, digital payments, lending and e-wallet services have grown rapidly in India. It is led by a government push to bring more of the country's cash-loving merchants and consumers into the formal economy.

Mr Cathcart spoke at an event held to announce a tie-up with India's NITI Aayog to promote women's entrepreneurship. He said, "We can't wait to provide this service to our users across India this year.”

Now, WhatsApp will use India's Unified Payments Interface (UPI) standard used by other digital payments services, which is growing rapidly.

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