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WhatsApp Pay may Soon Arrive in India: Mark Zukerberg

The peer-to-peer, UPI-based WhatsApp Pay service will reach over 400 million users -- especially the small and medium businesses (SMBs)

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WhatsApp Pay
It is nearly a necessity for WhatsApp to launch the payment service WhatsApp Pay as it is in direct competition with giants like Alphabet's Google Pay, Walmart-owned PhonePe, Amazon Pay and Alibaba-backed Paytm. Pixabay

Facebook is inching closer to launch much-anticipated WhatsApp Pay in India and will soon have a positive news to share, the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said.

Data compliance issues and regulations have kept WhatsApp Pay launch in abeyance for quite some time, despite a successful test run of the payments service with one million users in the country.

“We have our test going in India. The test really shows that a lot of people are going to want to use this product. We’re very optimistic that we’re going to be able to launch to everyone in India soon, but of course will share more news when we have that,” Zuckerberg told analysts on an earnings call on Wednesday.

The peer-to-peer, UPI-based WhatsApp Pay service will reach over 400 million users — especially the small and medium businesses (SMBs) — to boost digital inclusion in the country.

WhatsApp
Facebook is inching closer to launch much-anticipated WhatsApp Pay in India and will soon have a positive news to share. Pixabay

The government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have expressed concerns over some of WhatsApp’s features in complying with the regulations.

WhatsApp had earlier said it had built a local system to store payments-related data to comply with the RBI’s data localisation requirement, but later in an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, the RBI said WhatsApps Pay is yet to comply with its data localisation norms.

“We differentiate between payment systems that are built on top of the existing financial infrastructure like what we’re trying to do with WhatsApp payments or when we make payments in Instagram Shopping, and our work with something like Libra that is trying to build some new technological infrastructure for financial services,” Zuckerberg elaborated.

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said if WhatsApp meets the regulatory norms from RBI and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), then it should be allowed to start digital payment operations in the country.

It is nearly a necessity for WhatsApp to launch the payment service as it is in direct competition with giants like Alphabet’s Google Pay, Walmart-owned PhonePe, Amazon Pay and Alibaba-backed Paytm. These companies are in a fierce competition to dominate the digital payments industry in the country which is estimated to hit $1 trillion by 2023.

WhatsApp
RBI said WhatsApp Pay is yet to comply with its data localisation norms. Pixabay

According to a report by Omidyar Network and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), nearly half of MSME owners with annual business revenue between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 75 crore would use WhatsApp Payments once it is fully rolled out.

During the earnings call, Dave Wehner, Chief Financial Officer at Facebook, said daily active users reached 1.62 billion, up 9 per cent compared to last year, led by growth in India, Indonesia and the Philippines.

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“This represents approximately 66 per cent of the 2.45 billion monthly active users in September,” Wehner informed. (IANS)

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Now Google Pay Offers UPI Recharge Option For FASTag Users

FASTag is an electronic toll collection system, operated by the National Highway Authority of India

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Google Pay
According to the company, to recharge their FASTag accounts, users need to open their Google Pay app, look for the FASTag category under the "Bill Payments" section and select the bank that has issued their FASTag. Wikimedia Commons

In a bid to help its users recharge their FASTag accounts faster, Google Pay on Monday announced that it has added a new Unified Payments Interface (UPI) feature that will let them link FASTag accounts to the Google Pay app and recharge and track their payments.

According to the company, to recharge their FASTag accounts, users need to open their Google Pay app, look for the FASTag category under the “Bill Payments” section and select the bank that has issued their FASTag.

“On the next screen, enter your vehicle number and proceed to pay with your bank account. Users can also check their FASTag account balance for FASTags issued by supported banks with the tap of a button,” the company said in a statement.

Google Pay
In a bid to help its users recharge their FASTag accounts faster, Google Pay on Monday announced that it has added a new Unified Payments Interface (UPI) feature that will let them link FASTag accounts to the Google Pay app and recharge and track their payments. Wikimedia Commons

FASTag is an electronic toll collection system, operated by the National Highway Authority of India.

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It employs Radio Frequency Identification technology for making toll payments directly from the prepaid or savings account linked to it or directly toll owner. (IANS)