WhatsApp to roll out payments feature in India 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 is ubiquitous across India, where data consumption is surging thanks to cheap internet, but a full launch of its payments feature had been delayed amid some false messages circulating on the platform that have led to mob lynching and more government scrutiny, according to local media.

“It’s a regulatory approval question in India at this point,” Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in reference to WhatsApp Pay.

“We’re also working beyond India in a number of other countries and hope to have this rolled out to a large percent of the people who use WhatsApp within the next year,” he added.

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.

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