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WhatsApp is expected to launch its payment service in India later this year. The Facebook-owned company will soon roll out its own peer to peer, UPI based payment service. Today at an event in New Delhi, India the company’s Global Head, Will Cathcart said,
To boost digital inclusion in India, we can launch the (Pay) service across the country later this year after meeting regulations.
The digital payments industry in India is growing at a rapid rate. It is expected to hit the $1 trillion mark by 2023. As per a report by Omidyar Network and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), nearly half of the MSME (Micros Small Medium Enterprise) owners with annual business revenue between Rs. 3 lakhs and Rs. 75 crore can potentially use the WhatsApp Pay.
WhatsApp is hugely used throughout India and this popularity of WhatsApp can make the MSME owners use WhatsApp pay for payments. As per Prabhu Ram, the head of Industry Intelligence Group at CyberMedia Research,
Given the popularity and reach of Whatsapp in India, it is a given that WhatsApp Pay will make a strong dent on the payments ecosystem, and the incumbents therein.
He further added,
WhatsApp Pay has the potential to take Paytm head on, and race to the top of the payments market in India.
WhatsApp rolled out the WhatsApp payments service on the beta version of WhatsApp in India. The company has a huge number of registered beta testers on both Android as well as iOS platforms in India. However, the feature was not added to the final version of WhatsApp due to some mismatch with the digital payments framework guideline.
WhatsApp has around 300 million users in India and Facebook also has 300 million users in the country. As per some reports once the peer-to-peer UPI based payments system opens for the public the number of users can soon cross the number of Paytm users. WhatsApp Pay will have to compete against Paytm, PhonePe and Google Pay in the country.