WhatsApp Payments, the payment system integrated into the popular messaging application, will debut in India at the end of 2019. The feature, which has been in test phase since 2018, prepares for formal launch in that country, according to Will Cathcart, product manager at Facebook and WhatsApp worldwide.
According to IndiaToday, the application manager held an event in New Delhi where he stated that the company’s next step is the launch of WhatsApp Payments in India, which is based on the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) standard and is supported by Indian banks.
Cathcart said that if they get it right, they will integrate millions of people into the digital economy in India, a country where more than half of Internet users use WhatsApp. The company’s payment system, still in beta, already has one million users in India.
Plans to offer this service became known more than two years ago, when Indian sources began reporting on the future implementation of WhatsApp Payments. The company has opted for a payment system supported by banks and the government of India, although at the same time it has faced some obstacles as it needs to set up offices in that country.
With an imminent launch in India, all that remains to be known is what WhatsApp’s plans will be regarding whether it will provide this payment system in other countries. Last March it was reported that Mexico would be the next country to have this functionality, along with Brazil and the United Kingdom.
Unlike India, WhatsApp Payments would work as Apple Pay in the following three countries. The application would take information from our credit or debit card and would not require a phone number associated with a bank account.