What you need to know
- WhatsApp has been granted permission for its payment service in India.
- The company had been testing it in previous years but needed regulatory approval for an expanded launch.
- WhatsApp payments launched in Brazil earlier this year.
WhatsApp has been granted approval to expand its WhatsApp payments service in India. The company had been testing WhatsApp payments since 2018 in the region but had been unable to expand further since then.
Now, with this regulatory approval, WhatsApp can take a step further with its ambitions in India.
Messaging apps have been expanding into e-commerce and payments in the past couple of years. WeChat was always in that business, Google offers some peer to peer payments in the U.S., and Facebook Messenger trialed it out for a while in the UK.
In India, the UPI framework makes building a peer-to-peer payments service relatively painless with Google, PhonePe, Amazon Pay, and Paytm already taking slices of that pie. WhatsApp's ubiquity does place it at an advantage as it'll be more easily able to attract customers in the same way WeChat does; by having an overwhelmingly large and engaged userbase.
Aside from India, WhatsApp earlier this year rolled out its payments service in Brazil. It plans to roll the service to other countries in the future.
Facebook's jack-of-all-trades messaging app is the SMS replacement for most of the world. In the past few years, it has become a staging area for transactions between peers and businesses.
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