Facebook-owned WhatsApp tested its luck in the digital payment market in India with its own WhatsApp Pay. The feature was rolled out to some users in India for beta testing. However, due to non-compliance with some of RBI rules, the company could not roll out the feature to all the users in the country.
“What we’re going to end up seeing is building out payments, which is going to end up being something that we do country by country. We have a test that is running in India for WhatsApp now. We’re hoping to launch in several other countries at some point, but I don’t want to put a timeframe on that here. But it’s something that we’re actively working on,” a report by Business Standard quotes Mark Zuckerberg as saying at Facebook’s earnings call.
At the earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg reportedly detailed his plans of horizontally integrating WhatsApp with Instagram and Facebook, so it allows users to complete the transaction and follow up with businesses individually and have an ongoing relationship with the help of WhatsApp and Instagram.
As per the recent report by Economic Times, two bankers who are privy to the matter have said that WhatsApp Pay could take five more months to fully localize its payments and go live in India. The current position of WhatsApp Pay only allows users to make smaller value transactions which have been allowed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). WhatsApp Pay currently has only a fraction of 200 million active users in India.
WhatsApp Pay, like its competitors, is a mobile payment service that uses the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for transactions. It started offering the service in a partnership with ICICI Bank and went on to add Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and the State Bank of India to its list of partners.