With the digital payments market heating up in India as major players enter it, Facebook-owned WhatsApp Pay is expected to be a game-changer.
According to a report in the Economic Times of India, since Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg revealed in April that WhatsApp Pay is coming to India, the marketplace has been bracing for the latest entrance. As its stands, Amazon is going after the market, announcing Amazon Pay UPI for Android, while Google Pay already counts 45 million Indians as customers and Apple Pay is going after the market. At the same Paytm, the local digital payment company that has the backing of Alibaba, the Chinese eCommerce giant, is the leader in the market. But despite the formidable competitors, industry watchers expect WhatsApp Pay to have a huge impact on the industry. The reason, according to the report: it has a real chance of becoming the leading digital payment player, given its current user base. In India, WhatsApp has more than 300 million users. Facebook brings an additional 300 Indian customers to the company. The report noted that once its UPI peer-to-peer payment service is up and running it will easily surpass Paytm, which has more than 230 million users.
“Indians love WhatsApp, and will love the convenience of transacting through the app. I foresee a trend wherein entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises start embracing and using WhatsApp Pay,” Prabhu Ram, head of the Industry Intelligence Group at CMR, said in the report. “This will contribute to, and increase their creditworthiness. In turn, this trend will enable them to easily borrow credit from formal sources, such as banks.” WhatsApp Pay, which is facilitated by the Indian government’s UPI payments system, began testing its service in the country earlier this year with around one million users. Currently, there are more than 1 billion mobile phone users in the country, and the digital payments market is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2023.