WhatsApp gets approval to expand WhatsApp Pay to 100 million users in India
WhatsApp introduced its UPI-powered WhatsApp Pay service in India back in 2018, with the company initially rolling out the feature to one million users. However, the company was forced to hold the full-scale rollout as Indian regulators asked WhatsApp to comply with the Reserve Bank of India’s data storage guidelines. WhatsApp compiled with the demands and received a green light from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to roll out WhatsApp Pay in a phased manner, starting with up to 20 million users. In November last year, WhatsApp received permission to expand the feature to additional 20 million users, bringing the total number to 40 million users. Now, the company has received another approval to further expand its payments feature.
NPCI on Wednesday revealed that it’s giving WhatsApp the green light to roll out WhatsApp Pay to additional 60 million users. With the increased limit, WhatsApp can now bring its UPI-powered service to 100 million users — which is still a relatively small number as WhatsApp boasts a 400+ million strong userbase in India.
“National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has approved an additional sixty (60) million users on UPI for WhatsApp. With this approval, WhatsApp will be able to expand the service to its hundred(100) million users,” said NPCI in a press release.
WhatsApp Pay runs on Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the same protocol that powers Google Pay and PhonePe in India.
So far, WhatsApp Pay has failed to leave a mark in the Indian mobile payments space, thanks largely to the slow pace of rollout and being late to the game. However, with a massive user base and the fact that the company hasn’t rolled out the service to all of its users, it would be too early to declare WhatsApp Pay as a failure.
Besides India, WhatsApp’s payments feature is currently available in two more countries: Brazil, where the feature is powered by Facebook Pay, and the US, where users can send and receive money through the Novi wallet.