Payments Innovation

Zuckerberg Waiting For Green Light To Officially Launch WhatsApp In India

Facebook-owned WhatsApp is still working towards approval from the Indian government to officially launch its payment service across the country.

In February, WhatsApp launched a payments feature in India that now has around one million users. The app is in the process of fixing any issues with the payment feature and adding more functionality during beta testing of the service, which is based on the Unified Payments Interface of the NPCI.

But it needs to wait for clearance from the government for a full-fledged rollout across the country.

“All signs point to a lot of people wanting to use this when the government gives us the green light. And in the meantime, we’ve broadened our focus to building this for other countries so we can give more people this ability faster,” said Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg in a recent investor call, according to BGR India.

The launch has already been delayed after the country’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) reportedly asked WhatsApp, along with partner banks, to provide additional details about the system, including how and where user data will be stored in light of RBI’s instructions mandating how data should be stored in India.

In addition, the Indian IT Ministry recently told WhatsApp to prioritize the curbing of fake news on its platform after more than a dozen people who were wrongly accused of child abduction based on rumors sent out via WhatsApp were killed in a series of lynchings across India over the past two months.

Sources have said WhatsApp is working closely with the Indian government to win its approval, especially since the country is the largest market for WhatsApp, with the country accounting for over 200 million of its total 1.3 billion user base. And Credit Suisse predicts it will be a $1 trillion market by 2023, reported Quartz.

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