After demonetization, there has been an increase in the sheer number of e-wallet application that followed Paytm’s path. Mobikwik, PhonePe, OlaMoney, Google Pay, etc are a fleet of applications that successfully indulges in any manner of payment. A new app service is going to join them – WhatsApp Pay. You probably might have heard about it but forgot quickly as the official launch delayed due to technical errors which also wasn’t following any digital payments framework guidelines. It was then pushed to ‘beta’ mode where millions of users have tried WhatsApp’s new service.
Announced back in February 2018, UPI-based peer-to-peer (P2P) service will finally see the light of the day before the end of 2019, s confirmed by WhatsApp’s Global Head Will Cathcart. He said while speaking at an event, “To boost digital inclusion in India, we can launch the (Pay) service across the country later this year after meeting regulations.”
An e-wallet basically enables easy transaction of all sorts, be it a mobile recharge, paying your electricity and internet bills or booking movie tickets right from the comfort of your sofa. Paytm is used by a lot of millennials which gained popularity as a result of India’s demonetization.
WhatsApp had told the Apex Court that ‘it would comply with the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) norms on data localization before launching the full payments service.’ Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said, “We look forward to WhatsApp Pay in India once it fulfills all the regulatory requirements.”
Unknown to many, NITI Aayog and Whatapp also announced a partnership that aims to promote women entrepreneurs in India. In addition, WhatsApp will also partner with the Women Transforming India (WTI) Awards 2019 and will give $100,000 to the WTI winners.
WhatsApp Pay will compete with Paytm and Google Pay shoulder to shoulder, the latter of which offers some nitty-gritty discounts for its user base. However, WhatsApp has an active base of 300 million people who use the communication application for a lot of things and introducing a peer-to-peer UPI-based Pay service will rightfully threaten the existence of the other e-wallet apps that enjoy a good spotlight at the moment.
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has also announced that the company was ‘actively working to launch WhatsApp Pay’ in India. “We have a test that is running in India for WhatsApp now, we’re hoping to launch in several other countries at some point, but I don’t want to put a timeframe on that here, but it’s something that we’re actively working on,” he had said.
Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research said, “Digital wallet payment solutions are becoming more relevant for the Indian economy driven by mobile-centric Internet penetration. WhatsApp has the potential to leverage its existing user base and become the leading payments services.”