Almost two years after its experimental run, the Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp has received regulatory approval for its WhatsApp Pay platform in India. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) provided the firm with permission to put WhatsApp Pay into operation in a phased manner, The Business Standard reported.
The NPCI’s green light comes after approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). According to an unnamed source, WhatsApp has told the NPCI and the RBI that it will adhere for the set standards for data localization.
According to the report, the phased WhatsApp launch is connected to its expansive user base. The company aims to scale up its share of the payments market after the full rollout is complete.
WhatsApp Pay is not like other apps that offer payment services, as it is based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) standard. NPCI-developed UPI allows bank account holders to receive or send money without the need to enter their net banking password or user ID.
In October, reports surfaced that the introduction of WhatsApp Pay India might face a delay. It was said there were compliance issues tied to data processing regulations that might have kept the payment service from rolling out by the end of 2019 as had been forecast.
The Facebook-owned WhatsApp messaging service has over 450 million users in India. A beta version of the payments service had been rolled out to approximately one million users earlier in the year.
Increased adoption of mobile technology has set the stage for digital payment adoption, as has India’s broadly publicized demonetization efforts. There are forecasted to be over one billion mobile phone users in the country, and the digital payments market could have a value as high as $1 trillion by 2023.