In a strategic move to enhance its commerce offerings in India, WhatsApp, owned by Meta, announced on Wednesday its plans to incorporate credit card payments and integrate services from competing digital payment platforms within its app.
- WhatsApp to introduce credit card payments within its app in India.
- The app will now support services from other digital payment providers without redirecting users outside WhatsApp.
- Direct payments via India’s UPI system will be facilitated within WhatsApp.
- This move aligns with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of business messaging as a significant growth driver.
- While there’s a cap on WhatsApp Pay users, no such limit exists for users transacting with businesses using other methods.
- Approximately 300 million people transact about $180 billion monthly via India’s UPI.
- WhatsApp’s end-to-end shopping experiences in India have been limited to pilot programs, including collaborations with JioMart and metro systems in Chennai and Bangalore.
- The new payment features will be accessible to any company in India utilizing WhatsApp’s business platform.
- Meta is set to extend its Verified subscription program to businesses worldwide.
WhatsApp, boasting over 500 million users in India, has faced regulatory restrictions, limiting its in-app WhatsApp Pay service to a mere 100 million users. Previously, users opting for popular payment services like Google Pay, Paytm, and PhonePe were redirected outside the app. However, with the new update, transactions via these services and others operating on India’s UPI will be seamlessly integrated within WhatsApp.
This initiative amplifies Meta’s ambition to make business messaging a pivotal component of its revenue growth, especially as its primary advertising business and metaverse endeavors face challenges.
The potential of tapping into India’s vast UPI user base, where around 300 million individuals transact a staggering $180 billion monthly, could incentivize businesses to collaborate with Meta for direct access to WhatsApp’s extensive user base.
Historically, WhatsApp’s comprehensive shopping experiences in India have been confined to pilot ventures, including partnerships with JioMart, spearheaded by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, and metro services in Chennai and Bangalore.
Furthermore, Meta is broadening its Verified subscription program to businesses globally, offering companies a tool to verify their authenticity and enhance their content visibility in user feeds.