Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp will start its payments service in India on Friday.
Money transfer service is available now in 10 Indian regional language versions of WhatsApp, the messaging app said in a blog post, after it received approval from the country’s leading payments processor to roll out the much-delayed system.
“All you need is a debit card with a bank that supports UPI and you can set it up straight away. You can find it in the latest version of WhatsApp,” Zuckerberg said.
Over 400 million WhatsApp users in India can now securely send money to friends and family, and payments feature is now available for iPhone and Android users who are on the latest version of the app.
After two years of waiting, WhatsApp payment service has received approval from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to go live on Unified Payment Interface (UPI) with over 160 supported banks.
WhatsApp will compete with Alphabet Inc’s Google, Walmart’s PhonePe and Alibaba-backed Paytm in India’s digital payments market, which is expected to more than double in size to $135 billion in 2023 from 2019 levels, according to PwC and Indian industry lobby group ASSOCHAM.
Facebook earlier this year bought a 9.99% stake in Reliance’s digital unit for $5.7 billion, an investment that will give WhatsApp an inside track on payments for Reliance’s retail unit, which aims to serve tens of millions of small shops across India.