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By
Reuters
Published
Nov 5, 2020
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WhatsApp gets approval to launch payments feature in India

By
Reuters
Published
Nov 5, 2020

WhatsApp has received approval to roll out its payments service in India starting with 20 million users, the country’s flagship payments processor said on Thursday, giving the Facebook-owned app an entry into a crowded digital payments space.


WhatsApp gets approval to launch payments feature in India - Reuters


WhatsApp, which has over 400 million users in India, its biggest market, will compete with Alphabet Inc’s Google Pay, Softbank- and Alibaba-backed Paytm and Walmart’s PhonePe.

The Menlo Park, California-based firm had for long been trying to comply with Indian regulations, including data storage norms that require all payments-related data to be stored locally.

“WhatsApp can expand its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) user base in a graded manner starting with a maximum registered user base of 20 million,” the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) said in a statement.

Set up in 2008, the NPCI is a not-for-profit company which counts over 50 banks as its shareholders, including the State Bank of India, Citibank and HSBC.

Online transactions, lending and e-wallet services have been growing rapidly in India, led by a government push to make the country’s cash-loving merchants and consumers adopt digital payments.

UPI processed over 1.8 billion transactions in September, up from over 1.6 billion the previous month, according to data on the NPCI website.

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