What’s Up with WhatsApp In India?

WhatsApp seems to be laying down the groundwork for a P2P operation in India. The Facebook-owned global messaging service is currently advertising for a digital transaction lead with experience of UPI, Aadhaar and BHIM, seen as the precursor to a possible P2P payments service launch in India, according to multiple news sources. India, one of Facebook’s largest markets, reportedly has WhatsApp 200 million users.

On a visit to India in February, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton affirmed the company’s early stage interest in incorporating P2P payment services, indicated Finextra. Facebook has already implemented payments for its Messenger app in the US, but the service has has less traction in India, where WhatsApp has attracted over 200 million users.

“India is an important country for WhatsApp, and we’re understanding how we can contribute more to the vision of Digital India. We’re exploring how we might work with companies that share this vision and continuing to listen closely to feedback from our users,” WhatsApp spokesperson indicated.

Acquired by Facebook for $22 billion in 2014, WhatsApp’s user base of over 1.2 billion secures its importance and potential for monetization.

“Last year, Facebook’s Messenger provided tools to developers to enable ‘bots’ to accept and make payments within United States, thereby eliminating the need to redirect to an external website. This was aimed at enhancing commerce services as the credit/debit card details were stored on the platform and readily available while making purchases within bots,” posted Yahoo Finance. “Reportedly, Facebook had collaborated with the likes of PayPal PYPL, Visa, MasterCard MA and American Express and others for the bot-payment feature.  A couple of months back, Facebook collaborated with TransferWise Ltd., an international money transfer service that will enable users to make international transactions over the Messenger app. In the past one year, Facebook shares have gone up 24.64% compared with the Zacks Internet Services industry’s gain of 7.19%.”


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