WhatsApp starts payments service in India

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Nov 06, 2020, 10:55 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

WhatsApp will initially begin scaling up the service with a maximum of 20 million users, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) said on Thursday.

Facebook Inc's WhatsApp will start its payments service in India on Friday, the messaging app said in a blog post.

The messaging application, which counts India as its biggest market with more than 400 million users, received approval from the country's leading payments processor to roll out the much-delayed system.

WhatsApp will initially begin scaling up the service with a maximum of 20 million users, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) said on Thursday.

WhatsApp had been running a peer-to-peer payments service with limited users for over two years, awaiting regulatory approvals.

"Payments is available now in 10 Indian regional language versions of WhatsApp," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in video statement.

WhatsApp said it had partnered with five Indian banks, including State Bank of India and Jio Payments Bank, for the service.

All major payments players in India use the UPI framework, built by NPCI, for services such as peer-to-peer money transfer, utility payments and phone recharges.

UPI processed over 2.07 billion transactions in October, up from over 1.8 billion the previous month, according to NPCI.

WhatsApp will compete with Alphabet Inc's Google, Walmart's PhonePe and Alibaba -backed Paytm in India's digital payments market, which is expected to more than double in size to $135 billion in 2023 from 2019 levels, according to PwC and Indian industry lobby group ASSOCHAM.

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