Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp is thinking about launching a digital payment service in India soon. With more than 200 million users in the country, WhatsApp’s first foray into the peer-to-peer payment service will likely be a huge hit. The company may also announce it for the billion global users of the app. Even WeCHat has introduced its payments feature in China. Meanwhile, according to a report in an Indian news website The Ken WhatsApp has been working on the payments feature where money can be transferred digitally from person to person. The report said that the feature may be introduced in India in the next six months.
Additionally, there is a job advertisement on WhatsApp’s own website where is has posted a requirement for a candidate who has a tech and financial background and also someone who understands India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI). He/she also needs to know details about the BHIM payment app which enables users to transfer money as well as merchant payments using phone numbers. The post in WhatsApp is for digital transactions lead for India. Meanwhile, a WhatsApp spokesperson told Reuters, “India is an important country for WhatsApp, and we’re understanding how we can contribute more to the vision of Digital India.” Digital India is PM Modi government’s flagship programme which aims to boost the use of Internet-based services in India. The spokesperson added, “We’re exploring how we might work with companies that share this vision and continuing to listen closely to feedback from our users.
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According to reports, Brian Acton, WhatsApp co-founder had said that the messaging app was trying to investigate the digital payments service in India and had also talked about the feature to the Indian government.
Digital India and demonetisation have been two big moves by the Indian government, which has facilitated the rise of digital payments services in the country. While there are plenty of services like PayTm available, recently, TrueCaller, a phone ID app, which has a large base in India, also started a digital payment service in the country in partnership with ICICI bank. Now the decision of user-to-user payments by WhatsApp makes a lot of sense in India. While Facebook had added the payments feature on its Messenger app in the US, launching the same on WhatsApp makes more sense in India as the number of users and popularity is already pretty high in the country.