WhatsApp Pay being tested in India but no timeline for release: Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg says that users will be able to use WhatsApp Pay via Messenger and Instagram as well.

It has been a while that Facebook-owned WhatsApp placed its bets into the digital payments market in India, with its own WhatsApp Pay. The company rolled out the feature to some users in India for beta testing, however, due to non-compliance with some of RBI rules in the country, WhatsApp Pay could not be officially rolled out to all users in the country yet.

Now, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that WhatsApp is testing the feature in India in full swing, and will be rolled out soon. The timeline, though, is still unknown.

WhatsApp scammers are sending fake verification code to lock you out. Image: tech2/Anirudh Regidi

WhatsApp scammers are sending fake verification code to lock you out. Image: tech2/Anirudh Regidi

“What we're going to end up seeing is building out payments, which is going to end up being something that we do country by country. We have a test that is running in India for WhatsApp now. We're hoping to launch in several other countries at some point, but I don't want to put a timeframe on that here. But it's something that we're actively working on,” a report by Business Standard quotes Mark Zuckerberg as saying at Facebook's earnings call.

At the call, Zuckerberg reportedly said that WhatsApp Pay will be horizontally integrated with Instagram and Facebook, so that users can complete the transactions and follow up with businesses individually and have an ongoing relationship through Messenger and WhatsApp.

WhatsApp Pay to go live in five months?

According to a recent report by The Economic Times, two bankers privy to the matter have told it that WhatsApp Pay could take five more months to fully localise its payments data and go live in India. Currently, only a fraction of the 200 million active WhatsApp users in India can use the WhatsApp Pay feature and they can only do small value transactions which has been allowed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

WhatsApp Pay just like most of its competitors in the mobile payments segment using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for transactions. It started offering this service in partnership with ICICI Bank and then added Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and the State Bank of India to its list of partners.


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