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WhatsApp Pay Gets Nod From NPCI, Set To Launch Soon in India
After companies like Paytm and Amazon, it’s the time for WhatsApp to roll its digital payment platform – WhatsApp Pay – in India. The Facebook-owned messaging service has received the regulatory approval from National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on Thursday. As per the reports by Business Standard, the app will cater to around 10 million users in its first phase.
Initially, RBI has given a go-ahead to the company. WhatsApp has assured that it will comply with data localisation norms. Earlier, WhatsApp had faced issues due to data localisation and that is why the approval took some time. However, the company is now ready to launch the app in various phases.
As per the reports, the first phase of the plan will involve around 10 million users in the country. Once the launch is successful, it is being said that WhatsApp Pay will become one of the largest mobile payment apps in India considering its wide user base.
Earlier, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg had revealed that the WhatsApp Pay will be launched in various countries like Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia among others.
"We got approval to test this (payment services) with one million people in India back in 2018. And when so many of the people kept using it week after week, we knew it was going to be big when we get to launch," Zuckerberg had said during an event before.
The Beta Run
The company has started its trail run in partnership with ICICI Bank and waited for a nod from the regulatory. However, the wait was long due to issues around data processing compliance. The company worked with the government to resolve the issue. Now that it has received the positive response, it will have a direct competition in the market.
Though WhatsApp has a big user base, its journey won’t be as easy as it seems. For now, there are already multiple payment apps in the market. WhatsApp Pay will have to compete with Ali Baba supported Paytm, Google’s Google Pay, Mobiwik and Phone Pe to name a few. Currently, it is the Google Pay that is the most used payment app in India followed by Paytm.
Also, apps like Paytm and Google Pay are not just used for money transfers but they also offer various services like booking a movie, train tickets, recharging metro cards, flight tickets and so on. In such a backdrop, it will be interesting to see how WhatsApp Pay will lock in for tough competition.