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Facebook’s WhatsApp Making Progress with India’s Payments Market

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Dec. 4 2020, Updated 10:53 a.m. ET

Facebook working on a cryptocurrency for WhatsApp transfers

Facebook (FB) has been trying to come up with a mobile payment service for WhatsApp in India (EPI) for quite some time. Today, Bloomberg reported that “Facebook Inc. is working on making a cryptocurrency that will let users transfer money on its WhatsApp messaging app.” This is an interesting development from Facebook, which is trying to leverage the booming digital payments market.

According to a report from the Data Security Council of India citing Credit Suisse, India’s digital payment market could grow from $200 billion in 2018 to $1.0 trillion by 2023 at a CAGR of 38%. US-based multinationals are already working on this opportunity. Google (GOOG) has been promoting its Google Pay app in India. It launched the app last year, helping people pay utility bills and transfer funds seamlessly.

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Paytm is an established player in the Indian digital payments market. It has the backing of Alibaba (BABA) and Softbank (SFTBY). Even Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)(BRK.B) has acquired a stake in One97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm. PhonePe is another popular digital payment app in India, owned by Flipkart, which was acquired by Walmart (WMT) in August.

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