WhatsApp Pay coming to India later this year
Facebook-owned, WhatsApp, is all set to launch its peer-to-peer (P2P),unified payments interface-based (UPI) pay service for over 300 million users in India, as reported on the India Economic Times.
The launch is said to take place later this year, as announced by its global head, Will Cathcart on 25 July.
WhatsApp launched a test run of its payments service with one million users in the country last year and is in the final stages of the digital payments framework guidelines checks.
“To boost digital inclusion in India, we can launch the (Pay) service across the country later this year after meeting regulations,” says Cathcart.
The country’s digital payments industry is estimated to hit $1 trillion by 2023.
According to a report by Omidyar Network and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), nearly half of India’s Micro and SME owners with an annual business revenue between INR 300,000 ($4,357) and INR 750 million ($10.8 million) would use WhatsApp Payments once it is fully rolled out.
CEO, Amitabh Kant notes that the Facebook-owned app was delayed in meeting India’s regulatory norms to launch its digital payments service. However, he looks forward to having WhatsApp Pay in India, once it fulfils all the regulatory requirements.
“Given the popularity and reach of Whatsapp in India, it is a given that WhatsApp Pay will make a strong dent on the payments ecosystem, and the incumbents therein,” says Prabhu Ram, head-industry intelligence group, CyberMedia Research.
WhatsApp currently has over 300 million users in India (Facebook has another 300 million in the country) and once it starts P2P UPI-based Pay service, the numbers will take it beyond Paytm which last reported over 230 million users.
The company has told the Supreme Court that it would comply with the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) data localisation norms before launching the full payments service in the country.