WhatsApp Payments Plans to Penetrate India’s Lending Sector, Waiting for Regulatory Clearance

WhatsApp Payments, an in-chat payment feature that lets customers perform transfers through the messaging app to anyone in their contact list, has not achieved mainstream adoption in India.

The UPI-based payments service lets users send and receive funds. It has been created by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

WhatsApp Payments has not yet received regulatory approval for a full launch in the country with a population of around 1.5 billion. The Facebook-owned online payments solution recently confirmed that it’s planning to enter India’s lending and loans market.

According to its ministry of corporate affairs filing, WhatsApp Payments noted that credit would be among its major business plans for Indian markets. The company has not mentioned any other type of financial service in its filing.

At present, it remains unclear if WhatsApp will actually provide personal loans to local residents  or whether it will offer credit to consumers who want to fund their purchases via its digital payments solution.

This development has come just days after WhatsApp contacted the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The messaging giant reportedly told NPCI that its online payments platform will comply with relevant data protection regulations and storage requirements by May of this year.

Although the NPCI had initially approved the phased introduction of the WhatsApp Payments platform earlier this year, it was retracted because of regulatory concerns and the controversy surrounding the new project.

NPCI had requested that WhatsApp adhere to regulations outlined by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), before submitting an application to offer payments services.

Amazon has managed to expand its Pay Later credit solutions in India. The retail giant is providing zero-interest credit services to local consumers, so that they can purchase essential products and services or easily pay utility bills.

Amazon Pay has teamed up with various Indian lenders, including Capital Float and Karur Vysya Bank.

The new service from Amazon could provide much-needed financial relief to Indian consumers who have been forced to really stretch their budgets and earnings, as the country and the world copes with the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

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