WhatsApp Considers Extending Loans To Indian Users

WhatsApp, Loans, India, Facebook, amazon, payments, news

WhatsApp in India is considering a move into credit and lending so it can extend loans to users in the country, according to a report in The Next Web on Wednesday (April 29).

The Indian digital payments industry is headed to reach $1 trillion by 2023, according to Credit Suisse. The popular messaging and payments app owned by Facebook has over 400 million users and could rival Paytm, PhonePe, and Google Tez

A regulatory filing earlier in April indicated that WhatsApp wants to “advance money or give credit on such terms as may seem expedient, and with or without security, to customers and others.”

The company won’t be allowed to conduct any banking business and will have to use partnerships with existing banks to extend loans.

WhatsApp started testing its Indian Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in 2018 with 1 million users and had planned for a 2019 launch, but the initiative got hung up by regulatory issues. WhatsApp not yet gotten the nod from New Delhi for a nationwide rollout of Pay in India.

Amazon launched its Pay Later product in India on Tuesday (April 28). It gives users a virtual line of credit for up to $263 for buying goods or paying bills on the platform.

Amazon Pay Later is intended to help users get greater access to credit. The tool will help Indian customers better manage their monthly spends,” said Mahendra Nerurkar, chief executive of Amazon Pay India, in a statement to TechCrunch.

Facebook considers India to be one of its biggest markets and “reaffirmed” its commitment to India earlier in April, said.

Facebook is in discussions with Indian telecommunications company Reliance Jio to acquire a multibillion-dollar stake in the company, but the deal’s timetable has been stalled due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown.

The social media giant invested $5.7 billion to acquire a 9.99 percent stake.

Reliance Jio, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has 370 million subscribers to its discount mobile internet service. The wireless carrier was founded by multibillionaire Mukesh Ambani in 2016.