- Facebook is seeking ‘green light’ from government on WhatsApp Payments
- Zuckerberg has also hinted at the expansion of the payments service
- It’s on testing in India since February
In the midst of issues concerning the spread of fake news and misinformation through its platform, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is seeking the ‘green light’ from the Indian government to officially launch its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) based payments service in the country. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during the company earnings call on Wednesday confirmed the anticipation. Zuckerberg, 34, also hinted at the global expansion of WhatsApp Payments that has so far been in testing mode in India. Last week, it was reported that the government is holding up the plans of the Menlo Park, California-headquartered company for a nationwide launch of its payments service majorly over concerns about how users’ data will be stored. It was also recently found that the Reserve Bank of India has directed payments firms to store their data locally for “unfettered supervisory access”. The move gives a competitive advantage to Paytm, which is facing the heat with the growth of payments taking place through WhatsApp since it claims to store all its data natively in the country.
“We’ve been testing payments on WhatsApp in India, and it gives people a really simple way to send money to each other and contribute to greater financial inclusion,” said Zuckerberg while addressing to Facebook’s investors during the recent earnings call. “And of the people who have tested this, feedback and usage have been very strong. 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.”
Zuckerberg also suggested that Facebook is in plans to make a “business ecosystem around messaging” on WhatsApp as well as the Messenger app over the next five years. This is indeed important for the social networking company as it is aiming to take on the likes WeChat that is already offering payments and other business-focused services to the masses in China.