WhatsApp will soon launch its payments service in India too, as per Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The company will soon share positive news, Zuckerberg said. Data compliance issues and regulations have kept WhatsApp Pay launch in abeyance for quite some time, despite a successful test run of the payments service with one million users in the country.
“We have our test going in India. The test really shows that a lot of people are going to want to use this product. We’re very optimistic that we’re going to be able to launch to everyone in India soon, but of course will share more news when we have that,” Zuckerberg told analysts on an earnings call on Wednesday. The peer-to-peer, UPI-based WhatsApp Pay service will reach over 400 million users. This service will also help small and medium businesses (SMBs) to boost digital inclusion in the country.
Both the government and RBI have expressed concerns over some of WhatsApp’s features in complying with the regulations. WhatsApp had earlier said it had built a local system to store payments-related data to comply with the RBI’s data localization requirement. Later, in an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, RBI said WhatsApp’s Pay is yet to comply with its data localization norms.
“We differentiate between payment systems that are built on top of the existing financial infrastructure like what we’re trying to do with WhatsApp payments or when we make payments in Instagram Shopping, and our work with something like Libra that is trying to build some new technological infrastructure for financial services,” Zuckerberg elaborated.
Besides, in September, Abhijit Bose, WhatsApp India head revealed WhatsApp’s Payments service could be launched by the end of this year. Bose stated, “We hope to offer the service by the end of the year”. The company is planning to integrate the payment system with its WhatsApp for Business app. WhatsApp aims at enabling the “end-to-end communication cycle” between the customers and small businesses using the app. It is planning to make the experience more seamless and efficient to increase sales.
– With inputs from IANS