WhatsApp’s UPI based payment service, WhatsApp Pay, is finally ready to be launched in India.
After around two years since initial testing was done in the country, reports suggest that the payment service might be released towards the end of May. The platform has partnered with four banks in India (ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, and State Bank of India).
It leverages the country’s universal digital payment platform User Interface. As per now, the platform is reportedly still trying to comply with India’s central bank(Reserve Bank of India, or RBI) data localization laws which have been one of the key reasons for the delayed launch of the service.
“We are continuing to work with the government so that we can provide access to payments on WhatsApp to all of our users,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told Moneycontrol.
The rollout will help accelerate digital payments in India and, especially during the covid-19 crisis, act as a safer way to transact. Back in February 2018, WhatsApp started testing the payment service after obtaining clearance from India’s National Payments Corporation.
In the testing phase, WhatsApp Pay was able to garner 1 million users. India is WhatsApp’s major market currently home to over 400million monthly active users. Through the nation-wide rollout of WhatsApp Pay, this massive user base will be able to perform digital transactions between bank accounts.
To cement its presence in India, Facebook has in the past month invested 5.7 Billion in India’s Jio Platforms Limited, which equals a 9.9 percent stake in the company. Facebook is now the largest minority shareholder in the company.