“WhatsApp Pay payment service will be rolled out in a phased manner and will be available to around 10 million users initially”
Facebook has finally received the approval from the Nation Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch WhatsApp Pay in India after trying for over two years. To recall, WhatsApp wasn’t granted permission initially as it couldn’t localise the data 100 percent. WhatsApp Pay payment service will be rolled out in a phased manner, according to a report from Business Standard. A Reserve Bank of India (RBI) executive said, “The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has granted WhatsApp a licence to operate its digital payment service in a phased manner.“
Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been granted the permission by the NPCI only after it assured to comply with the local data regulation norms. In its first phase, the payment service will be available to around 10 million users. “Pending other compliance points, the messaging platform will be able to do a full rollout,” the source noted. When WhatsApp completes the rollout, it would be the biggest UPI payment services provider in India and will be competing with Google Pay, PhonePe, Paytm and others. Its biggest advantage is the 400 million active user base in the country.
WhatsApp Pay is already available in India as a trial since February 2018. It has partnered with ICICI Bank for the trial run. The payment service can be accessed from attachments in the chat interface by selecting the preferred bank account and authenticating the payment through an MPIN. Currently, there are over 10 million merchants who accept digital payments in the country, which makes it one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. This latest development comes days after it was reported that WhatsApp will be rolling out its payment service in several markets including India, Brazil, and the Philippines within the next six months.