Facebook becomes payments company as WhatsApp Pay rolls out in India

Anne Freier | February 10, 2020

App Business

WhatsApp will be allowed to move forward with WhatsApp Pay – its digital payment platform – in India.

The company had been running a pilot test phase of the payment service in the US for the last two years and piloted the payment app with 1 million users in India in 2018.

It recently secured permission from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch WhatsApp Pay in the country where it has some 400 million users.

WhatsApp made assurances that it would comply with data localisation norms. With the company agreeing to such terms, little stands in its way for a full roll-out.

It’s evident that the company is trying to scale its payments service to handle transactions similar to Chinese competitor WeChat.

By integrating the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) standard, payments can be sent electronically without users having to enter their passwords.

Other competitors in this space include Google Pay, Paytm and PhonePe.

Google apparently reported more than 240 million UPI transactions via phone in May 2019, whilst Paytm saw 200 million and PhonePe noted 230 million transactions.