WhatsApp Payments is slowly rolling out in India with beta-testing going on for over a million users. In India, Payments on WhatsApp is powered by the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which allows for instant bank transfer payments. The Payments feature has gone live on Android and iOS for some users. WhatsApp’s listing for the India head also mentions this focus on payments. It notes that the company is “seeking an exceptional individual to lead our efforts in India including products for people and businesses along with our interest in peer to peer payments.”
WhatsApp also has a Business version of the app now available in India and other countries. This app is for smaller businesses, and can help them connect with users and customers. WhatsApp is also partnering with bigger businesses like MakeMyTrip, BookMyShow, etc in India with messages, alerts from these apps now appearing on the app itself. Based on the listing, it looks like the WhatsApp Head India will also have to manage some of these partnerships for the company.
The position is based in Mumbai, and the person will report to WhatsApp’s Chief Operating Officer Matthew Idema in California. The job description also says, “this leader will need to build a close partnership with product and engineering teams to influence direction and to effectively represent WhatsApp’s long term strategy.”
The person will also be expected to act as “cross functional leader across WhatsApp and Facebook teams,” according to the description. The company is looking for someone with 15 plus years of experience in product driven companies as well as five plus years of experience with payment technologies in India, according to the requirements. So clearly payments and how they will work on WhatsApp will be a big part of the messaging’s future strategy in India.
WhatsApp’s entry into Payments has already raised concerns about what it will mean for other players. When Payments was first rolled out for some users on WhatsApp, it did not support sending money to other UPI ids or scanning QR codes for making payments. This issue was raised by other players in the market like Paytm (which is a market leader in the FinTech and digital wallet space), who claimed WhatsApp was compromising on interoperability, which is one of the key rules of UPI. Later it was confirmed that WhatsApp is only beta-testing the feature with under 1 million users. and that when the full launch takes place, all UPI features would be present.