Excited that WhatsApp has been approved to launch payments in India, says Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was excited that WhatsApp received approval to roll out its payments service in India. The Facebook-owned messaging service will soon launch its payments service in the country starting with two million users, the country’s flagship payment processor said on Thursday, giving WhatsApp an entry into a crowded digital payments space. WhatsApp, which has more than 40 billion users in India, its largest market, will compete with Alphabet’s Google Pay, Softbank-backed Paytm and Walmart’s Alibaba and PhonePe.
“I am excited today that WhatsApp has been approved to launch payments across India. Now you can send money to your friends and family via WhatsApp as easily as sending a message. There is no fee and it is backed by more than 140 banks. And since WhatsApp is, it is also safe and private. ” Zuckerberg he said in a video statement. “We have been working on this with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), who oversees everything to make sure it’s safe and reliable. And we have built it using India Unified payment interface, which makes it easy for anyone to accept payments instantly through different apps, and for businesses to provide great services to people. ”
The Menlo Park, California-based firm had long been trying to comply with Indian regulations, including data storage rules that require all payment-related data to be stored locally.
Announcing the new service in a blog post, WhatsApp said that users must have a bank account and debit card in India to use the feature. The courier has partnered with Banking axis, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Jio Payment Bank and State Bank of India to facilitate the new function. The payment system allows transactions with more than 160 supported banks.
“WhatsApp can expand its Unified Payment Interface (UPI) user base gradually starting with a maximum registered user base of 20 million,” said the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
Established in 2008, NPCI is a non-profit company with more than 50 banks as shareholders, including the State Bank of India, Citibank and HSBC.
Online transactions, loans, and e-wallet services have grown rapidly in India, led by a push from the government for the country’s cash-loving merchants and consumers to embrace digital payments.
UPI processed more than 180 million rupees in September, up from 160 million rupees the previous month, according to data on the NPCI website.