Updated: November 1, 2019 8:37:26 am
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday that WhatsApp’s Payments service will be rolled out in India soon. During the question and answer session with analysts, Zuckerberg was asked about the social media giant’s progress in payments space, in relation to WhatsApp Payments.
He responded that Facebook is currently testing out the service in India and the plan is to roll out an in-app payment service in WhatsApp soon. Zuckerberg did not reveal any specific timeline of the launch related to WhatsApp Payments.
“We’re, of course, working on payments in WhatsApp. We have our tests going in India. The test really shows that a lot of people are going to want to use this product, Zuckerberg told analysts during a third-quarter earnings call.
WhatsApp’s global head Will Cathcart, during his visit to India earlier this year, had confirmed to Indian Express about the launch of its payments service to all users in 2019. Facebook-owned WhatsApp is currently pilot testing the UPI-based payments service with over 100 million users in the country. India is WhatsApp’s biggest market with over 400 million users, out of its 1.5 billion users globally.
WhatsApp Payments, which is still in a beta mode, is under scrutiny from the government and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) over concerns of data processing. The government has clarified that Indian financial data needs to be stored onshore and if it is processed outside, it needs to be brought back within 24 hours. Regulators have raised concerns over WhatsApp’s clauses, which is why the service has been delayed in India.
But Zuckerberg seems to be optimistic about WhatsApp’s long-delayed payments service and its future in the world’s second-most populous market. In India, digital payments have exploded post the demonetization drive in 2016. According to investment banking firm Credit Suisse, India’s digital mobile payments market is set to reach $1 trillion by 2023. Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay, NPCI’s Bhim app are the most dominant digital payment apps in the country.
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