As per the reports, Facebook expects to roll out WhatsApp Pay in a number of countries in the next six months, even as its payment license remains stuck in India.
How Did This Happen?
Now, Facebook is working on building the technology infrastructure to turn its private messaging apps, WhatsApp and Messenger, into private social platforms where users can hang out and engage with businesses.
While talking about the growth of commerce and payments on private messaging apps, Mark Zuckerberg said “One example that we’ve been working on is WhatsApp Payments where you’re going to be able to send money as quickly and easily as sending a photo,” on an earnings conference call with analysts.
“I’m really excited about this, and I expect this to start rolling out in a number of countries and for us to make a lot of progress here in the next six months,” he added.
What Is WhatsApp Pay?
WhatsApp’s payment feature, called WhatsApp Pay, is basically designed to run on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), developed by the National Payments Corporation of India which will allow users to pay others or do business transactions through their bank accounts.
So far, its license has not been approved in India yet as it has to complete localizing all the data within the country’s borders.
WhatsApp has around 400 million users in India and currently, the payment feature is running in pilot mode.
If the company gets a payment license for a full-fledged rollout, it is expected that other players in the market, including Google Pay, PhonePe and Paytm will face stiff competition.
What Does Facebook Say About This Feature?
According to Zuckerberg, commerce and payments are areas that will be important for private social platforms such as WhatsApp and Messenger, as well as social networking sites Facebook and Instagram.
Apart from WhatsApp Payments, Zuckerberg said the company is working on several other efforts to help facilitate more commerce from Facebook Marketplace to Instagram Shopping.
He said, “We’re taking a number of different approaches here, ranging from people buying and selling to each other directly to businesses setting up storefronts to people engaging with businesses directly through messaging and a number of things on payments –using existing national systems like India’s UPI to creating new global systems,”.