After testing the WhatsApp Payments feature with over a million people in India in 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that the feature will soon be rolled out in select countries, including India.
WhatsApp Payments is one of the ambitious projects of the company in India, but it was earlier stopped from being rolled out over data compliance issues. Last year in October, the Facebook-owned instant messaging app claimed to develop a system to store payments-related data locally in India in compliance with the Reserve Bank of India's policy.
‘You’re going to be able to send money as quickly and easily as sending a photo. We got approval to test this with a million people in India back in 2018, and when so many of the people kept using it week after week, we knew it was going to be big when we get to launch. I'm really excited about this, and I expect to start rolling this out in a number of countries and for us make a lot of progress here in the next six months,’ said Zuckerberg in a post.
‘Over 2.9 billion people now use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger each month, and over 2.3 billion people use at least one of our services daily,’ he added.
WhatsApp Payments is based on UPI to allow peer-to-peer transactions. The company is also working to partner with HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, and SBI to launch the feature. To use the service, users are required to create an authentication pin and to set up a UPI account through the UPI app or your respective bank's website/app.
Last year in July, WhatsApp’s Global Head Will Cathcart said that the company wants to make sending money as simpler as sending a message on the platform. And if we get this right, the feature will accelerate financial penetration and bring value for people in India's fast-growing digital economy.
After the successful rollout, WhatsApp Pay will have fierce competition from already established payment services, such as Google Pay, PhonePe, and Paytm, in India.