WhatsApp Pay, which is so far available to India users under a pilot, has secured a licence from National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to kick off a phased rollout in the country, according to a media report. The new development would allow WhatsApp to grow its payments service that uses the government’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to enable mobile transactions. The Facebook-owned company stated offering WhatsApp Pay to one million users in India in 2018 as a part of the beta testing, however, it hasn’t been able to formally launch the service in the country due to delay in regulatory approval.
WhatsApp Pay would give a tough fight to platforms such as Amazon Pay, Google Pay, and Alibaba-backed Paytm. Also, it would boost UPI-based transactions in the country that hit the mark of 1.3 billion in December — with 111 percent year-over-year (YoY) growth.
During an earnings call last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had told analysts that WhatsApp Pay would be rolled out in several countries in the next six months. The executive had last year also hinted at the imminent launch of WhatsApp Pay in India. Moreover, alongside India, Facebook is aiming to bring its payments service through WhatsApp in other developing markets, including Brazil, Indonesia, and Mexico.