WhatsApp wins approval to expand WhatsApp Pay to 40 million users in India
WhatsApp has won regulatory approval from The National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI) to double the number of users it can offer its payments service in India to. This comes after the Facebook-owned (well, Meta-owned) company requested that it should not have a cap on the number of users that it can work with.
WhatsApp Pay is built upon the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform, and it’s a part of a growing list of UPI-powered payments services, including Google Pay, Flipkart’s PhonePe, and Paytm. It’s pretty easy to get started using WhatsApp for sending and receiving money. It can be used to send and receive money between two bank accounts free of charge in a fast and secure way, and with this expansion, as reported by Reuters, the company will now be able to offer its services to 40 million users. WhatsApp has had a hard time trying to comply with Indian regulations, including meeting requirements for data storage which required all payments-related data to be stored locally.
Not everyone has access to WhatsApp Pay yet, and when the service first launched, only 20 million of its 400 million users in India actually had the feature. The number was expanded from the 10 million user pilot that started early last year. India has implemented a 30% cap on the total volume of UPI transactions process by third-party app providers, which is meant to prevent big tech companies such as Google and Flipkart from dominating the market. WhatsApp’s large 500 million-person userbase would allow the app to crush the competition with its stronghold that it already has on the instant messaging market, should WhatsApp Pay be rolled out to all of its users.
A source told Reuters that WhatsApp has almost reached its user base of 20 million for payment services. This regulatory approval should give WhatsApp a lot more room to work with and grow into, although it’s not clear when the new cap will come into effect.