Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg upbeat about WhatsApp Pay in India, says lot of people will use it

By: |
October 31, 2019 6:05 PM

The UPI-based peer-to-peer payment service was announced in February 2018. The beta version of the service was expected to see a complete roll out this year, however, Facebook is yet to announce its formal launch.

Facebook’s daily active users increased to 1.62 billion — 9 per cent increase from last year. (Source: Reuters)

Ahead of WhatsApp’s impending launch of its most anticipated service — WhatsApp Pay in India’s digital payments ecosystem, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg expects it to see huge adoption even as the country is likely to have the fastest growth in digital payments’ transaction value between 2019 and 2023.

“We have our tests going in India. It’s — the test really shows that a lot of people are going to want to use this product,” Zuckerberg said during the company Q3 2019 earnings conference call with analysts. The UPI-based peer-to-peer payment service was announced in February 2018. The beta version of the service was expected to see a complete roll out this year, however, Facebook is yet to announce its formal launch.

“We’re very optimistic that we’re going to be able to launch to everyone in India soon. But of course, we’ll share more news when we have that,” Zuckerberg said in his response to a question related to payments ecosystem from Colin Sebastian from financial services firm Baird.

Also read: Facebook’s new SME outreach: Ties up with SAIF Partners to tap into small businesses’ need

According to an Assocham-PwC report, digital payments in India will grow from $64.8 billion in 2019 to $135.2 billion in 2023 at CAGR of 20.2 per cent.

The high cash burning digital payments ecosystem has SoftBank-backed Paytm, Walmart-owned PhonePe, and Google Pay among its leading players vying for a greater share of customers’ wallets.

PhonePe saw its losses rising by 140 per cent to Rs 1,904.72 crore for FY19 even as its expenses increased to Rs 2,153.22 crore. In comparison, Paytm’s parent One97 had nearly Rs 4,000 crore in loss in FY19 while Google Pay posted profits of Rs 32.77 lakh in FY19. Amazon Pay, on the other hand, saw losses worth Rs 1,160.8 crore.

Zuckerberg added that Facebook’s daily active users increased to 1.62 billion — 9 per cent increase from last year led by growth in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The company’s Q3 total revenue stood at $17.7 billion while its total expenses were $10.5 billion.

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