It looks like Facebook may be closer to launching its WhatsApp payment service in the Indian market. The social media giant just completed an audit that covered its data practices. Government of India delayed the launch of the payment feature on WhatsApp because of data privacy and security concerns. As per reports, the government asked WhatsApp to reveal its data practices to a third-party auditor. The government wanted to ensure that all the WhatsApp payment-related data was only stored on servers inside India.
According to a Bloomberg report, WhatsApp is preparing a report to submit it to the Reserve Bank of India for approval. Facebook initially rolled out the payments feature in the beta stage more than a year back in 2018. There is no clarity on when exactly Facebook will get the official green light to launch the payment service. However, it is worth noting that the company is set to enter a crowded payments space. A number of payment service giants including Paytm, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and more are already competing against each other. It is also worth noting that all these services are already following the RBI data localization guidelines.
Future of WhatsApp payment service in India
The report also noted that the Indian digital payments sector is likely to increase “five-fold” by 2023 and hit the $1 trillion mark. WhatsApp payment service is also likely to get a strong head-start from the number of WhatsApp users in the market. The country has more than 300 million WhatsApp users on the platform. The number of users will only increase as more users get a smartphone. Given the ease to use and accessibility, WhatsApp can easily take over the market while beating its rivals.
The launch of this service along with WhatsApp for Business is likely to change how small businesses offer services to users. For instance, after the launch, users can easily pay small businesses or service providers directly on WhatsApp. The multimedia messaging app has refused to comment on the information about the possible internal audit. This new development comes weeks after the company revealed its plans to launch its digital cryptocurrency, Libra.