Facebook CFO Hints At WhatsApp Payments Expansion Beyond India

Facebook Earnings Show WhatsApp Payments Plan

Facebook recently released its quarterly earnings report for the period ending on Dec. 31. During the earnings call, the company touched on its plans for the WhatsApp payments service, which is being tested in India.

Capital Analyst Alan Gould asked David Wehner, the chief financial officer at Facebook, about the company’s plan.

“You mentioned WhatsApp payments has been tested in India. When does that go live? Will you be taking a small transaction fee on that?” Gould asked.

Wehner said Facebook was testing WhatsApp payments for most of last year.

“And we’ve gotten good feedback on that product from users who have used it. And we’re working toward getting that unblocked for a larger expansion in India. And we’re also looking to bring payments to a number of other countries that are significant for WhatsApp,” Wehner said.

He also mentioned that the purpose of WhatsApp payments wasn’t to earn revenue or collect fees. “The potential revenue and fees from that are quite small. So we’re not really doing this as a revenue opportunity,” Wehner noted. “It’s really about giving people and businesses the ability to send and receive money to one another as [easily] and securely as they send a message. And so we think this is just an important part of empowering people and businesses with the tools they need to enable commerce.”

Facebook grew its users by 11 percent among people who use the company’s apps once a day, and by 9 percent among people who use one of Facebook’s apps once a month. Those numbers come out to 2.26 billion people and 2.89 billion people, respectively.

“We had a good quarter and a strong end to the year as our community and business continue to grow,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. “We remain focused on building services that help people stay connected to those they care about.”


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