The payments offering has been in beta mode in India since early 2018 for a million users, but the nationwide debut has been delayed, in part because of government regulations.
Wednesday 17, July 2019
Facebook is moving a step closer to launching its long-delayed WhatsApp payments service in India after wrapping up an audit of related data practices, reported Bloomberg.
WhatsApp is required to show a third-party auditor that all data involved in payments will be stored on servers only in India and the Facebook unit is preparing to submit the report for approval to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Amazon Pay and Paytm, the country’s most popular digital payments service, have already complied with the RBI’s data localization guidelines. India’s digital payments market is projected to grow five-fold and hit $1 trillion by 2023, according to Credit Suisse Group.
The Facebook unit has substantial strengths including an India user base that is estimated at more than 300 million.
Carl Woog, WhatsApp’s Director of Communications, said, “WhatsApp looks forward to providing WhatsApp Payments based on the UPI standard to all users in India and we continue to work with our local partners towards a shared goal of supporting a more Digital India.”
The India initiative comes after Facebook unveiled plans to introduce its own cryptocurrency, called Libra, next year with multiple partners.
The India payments audit currently underway meets the regulator’s stipulation which requires that all data be stored in India including full end-to-end transaction details, information collected or carried/processed as part of the message or payment instruction.
The messaging app’s entry into India’s digital payments market has been likened to that of WeChat, given that it has a massive user base and is also expected to reshape payments like the Chinese player did when it expanded beyond messaging.