Finally, Facebook owned Whatsapp had been authorized by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch WhatsApp Pay service in India after nearly two years. The rollout will enable the messaging app to grow its payment services using the UPI scheme from the government.
“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 ranging from existing — using existing national systems like India’s UPI to creating new global systems,” Zuckerberg said.
It all started back in 2018, the messaging app owned by Facebook said they’re offering WhatsApp Pay as part of beta testing to a million users in India.
It could not officially launch, however, because the central bank of the country allegedly blocked a launch of the service citing data localization requirements.
The data localization requirements of RBI allow foreign companies to store transaction and user data within India and extract data from foreign servers within 24 hours.
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has now granted WhatsApp permission to operate its digital payment service in a phased manner according to the report.
So the WhatsApp Pay will be made available to more than 10 million users through the messaging app in the first steps of the launch.
After the successful launch, WhatsApp Pay is expected to become one of India’s largest mobile payment apps given the country’s messaging app has over 450 million users.
Nonetheless, WhatsApp Pay will not have a smooth sail in India as there are already numerous rivals in the market for payment devices.
Whatsapp Pay must contend toughly with the Paytm app, Google Pay app, Phone Pe among others. Currently Google Pay is the most used payment app in India followed by Paytm.
It will also be a tough payment app competence that is already active in India as the launch of WhatsApp Pay could impact the business of these apps that dominate India’s digital payment space.
But it’s also unclear if Facebook can convince the country’s regulators over the ongoing issues of data enforcement.