Why Facebook Want to Tap India’s Digital Payments Market



WhatsApp to start payments service in India

Facebook’s (FB) messaging app (application) WhatsApp will soon begin its digital payments service in India (INDA). It will allow people to send money to other WhatsApp users. WhatsApp also received approval from the Indian government last July to use UPI (Unified Payments Interface) to implement payments. The company is also working with some Indian banks, including State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, and Axis Bank, to facilitate the payments service. However, the payments feature is currently in beta testing and is not live yet.

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WhatsApp competes in mobile wallet payments market in India

The launch of WhatsApp’s payment service in India could face stiff competition from other messaging services, including Google’s (GOOGL) Tez and Tencent’s (TCEHY) Hike, that also support payments. In India, WhatsApp directly competes with digital wallet platform Paytm, which has also entered messaging.

Despite the competition, WhatsApp is expected to gain a massive market since the app has a solid customer base in India. India is WhatsApp’s largest market with more than 200 million monthly active users as of February 2017. The Facebook-owned app is expected to dominate the Indian person-to-person payments space since the WhatsApp user base is increasing and a large number of people have come online in the country due to the availability of cheaper smartphones and lower-cost mobile data plans.


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