WhatsApp Pay Confirmed to Launch in India Later This Year

WhatsApp Pay Confirmed to Launch in India Later This Year

India's digital payments industry is estimated to hit $1 trillion by 2023, and according to a report by Omidyar Network and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), almost half of MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise) owners with annual business revenue between Rs. 3 lakh and Rs. 75 crore could potentially use WhatsApp Payments once it is fully rolled out.

WhatsApp's mobile payments service faces an uphill battle in an already crowded market populated by seasoned players like Paytm, Google Pay (previously Tez) and Walmart-owned Flipkart's PhonePe.

WhatsApp Payments will finally be launching in India by the end of the year, according to Will Cathcart, WhatsApp's Global Head.

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, stated, "Even in a limited test, the feedback was very positive".

"We built payments based on the UPI standard, partnered with banks here in India".

US -headquartered instant messaging platform WhatsApp on Thursday said it planned to roll out its payment services in India later this year.

"We believe that if we get this right, it will accelerate financial inclusion and bring value for people in India's fast growing digital economy, We can't wait to provide the service more of our users all across India later this year", he said at an event here.

WhatsApp has said it is ready with its data localisation plans for its Pay service.

WhatsApp now has over 300 million users in India (Facebook has another 300 million in the country) and once it starts peer-to-peer (P2P) UPI-based Pay service, the sheer numbers will take it beyond Paytm which last reported over 230 million users.

One million users have tried the new feature but its official roll out has been repeatedly delayed due to policy changes in the country.

"Indian authorities are concerned that WhatsApp's payment service might share user data with group companies Facebook and Instagram, compromising the security, privacy and non-commercial information of its subscribers", according to a report from the Economic Times. Companies were given a 6-month deadline to comply with the new norms in order to continue their operations in India.

India has insisted that technology companies store data on Indians in the country, something WhatsApp has resisted so far for its messaging platform.

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