Facebook-owned WhatsApp is all set to launch its peer-to-peer, UPI-based Pay service for over 300 million users — especially the small and medium businesses (SMBs) — in India sometime later this year, its Global Head Will Cathcart announced here on Thursday.
WhatsApp launched a test run of its payments service with one million users in the country last year which got stuck in the digital payments framework guidelines but now, the service is in the final stages.
“To boost digital inclusion in India, we can launch the (Pay) service across the country later this year after meeting regulations,” Cathcart told the audience at an event.
The country’s digital payments industry is estimated to hit $1 trillion by 2023.
“Given the popularity and reach of Whatsapp in India, it is a given that WhatsApp Pay will make a strong dent on the payments ecosystem, and the incumbents therein,” Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group, CyberMedia Research, told IANS.
The message is clear to the digital payments leader Paytm in the country: Brace for the landfall.
“WhatsApp Pay has the potential to take Paytm head on, and race to the top of the payments market in India,” Ram added.
“WhatsApp Pay’s entry is a very pivotal moment in India’s e-payments history. It is almost akin to the launch of WeChat Pay that transformed payments in China. Imagine being able to make payments on platforms like BookMyShow via the WhatsApp integration,” Ram told IANS.