WhatsApp Payments Coming to India Later This Year

WhatsApp will roll out its payments service in India this year following a year-long pilot, its global chief Will Cathcart has said, as the Facebook-owned messaging giant taps an upsurge in digital payments in its dominant market.

WHATSAPP payments coming this year later

WhatsApp now has about 400 million users in India, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday, encompassing almost a third of India's population of 1.3 billion.

WhatsApp's payments feature would compete with a crowded market in India that includes Alphabet's Google Pay, Softbank- and Alibaba-backed Paytm and Walmart's PhonePe, all of which are used, especially in cities, to pay for everything from groceries to Uber rides.

Digital payments, lending and e-wallet services have been growing rapidly in India, led by a government push to bring more of the country's cash-loving merchants and consumers into the formal economy.

"Payments services are critical to ... bringing millions more people into India's fast-growing digital economy," Will Cathcart, WhatsApp's global head, said in New Delhi on Thursday.

Cathcart was speaking at an event held to announce a tie-up with India's top government think tank NITI Aayog to promote women's entrepreneurship.

"We can't wait to provide this service to our users across India this year," Cathcart said.

WhatsApp will use India's Unified Payments Interface (UPI) standard used by many other digital payments services, which is growing rapidly — UPI processed over 750 million transactions last month, rising from about 246 million a year earlier.44

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