WhatsApp To Foray into Digital Payments in India

by CXOtoday News Desk    Apr 05, 2017

whatsapp

Facebook owned instant messaging app WhatsApp is getting into digital payment services in India. This move is a maiden one to offer such services globally.

In October 2014 Facebook wrapped up its landmark $21.9 billion acquisition of WhatsApp which it announced in February 2014.

WhatsApp has chosen India to initiate its service which is home to 200 million users of more than a billion worldwide. In India, the company will have to compete Alibaba backed digital payment giant, Paytm.

With this move, WhatsApp would also look to replicate messaging app like Tencent Holdings Ltd’s WeChat which is moving in similar lines in China.  

WhatsApp aims to “contribute more to India’s vision for digital commerce,” it said in a statement.

A job advertisement on WhatsApp’s website showed that it is looking for a candidate with a financial and technical background who has the aability to understand and explain UPI, BHIM, Aadhar number- to take the responsibility of digital transaction for the country.

“India is an important country for WhatsApp, and we’re understanding how we can contribute more to the vision of Digital India,” Reuters quoted a WhatsApp spokesman as saying, referring to a flagship government program that aims to boost the use of Internet-based services in the country.

“We’re exploring how we might work with companies that share this vision and continuing to listen closely to feedback from our users,” the spokesman said, declining to elaborate further.

In India, digital transactions has taken a leap after the government’s demonetization drive which stated in November on certain high-value bank notes. In fact, since then, digital payments companies rejoiced the move, broadly terming it as ‘cash is dead’.

WhatsApp’s co-founder, Brian Acton told local media in February that the app was formulating ways of digital payment in the country and for that there was a discourse with the Indian government about the matter.