Whatsapp has finally started introducing its payments feature called as “Whatsapp payment” which was being worked on for a long period. Whatsapp has introduced this feature for the first time in Brazil where the users will be able to make payments on remittances and purchases without leaving the app. Payments procedure will be determined via facebook pay, meaning users will be able to use secure details to purchase products in the facebook marketplace and also send money to their friends via messenger. In the opening, this feature will work with cards issued by the three Brazilian Banks and each transaction will be done with a six digit pin or fingerprint scan. Ordinary users do not have to pay any kind of fees for remittances or purchases. Sending money or making purchases on Whatsapp is free for consumers.
Business will pay a processing fee to receive customer payments, like what they may already pay when accepting a credit card transaction. Making payments simple can help bring more business into the digital economy, opening up new opportunities for growth. Facebook has been working on Whatsapp payments feature since 2017.The trial began in India in 2018, where the Whatsapp has largest number of consumers but it has not been formally introduced there yet and the government rules have caused problems. On February 7, 2020, the messaging app received NPCI’s approval to roll out its digital payment feature in a phased manner. Now this feature has finally been introduced and the company said that it will be provided to all consumers in the future. Whatsapp is also working on a plan to lend to consumers in India.
In April a regulatory application was submitted by the company in which they said that they wants to give money to their users and others as loan or advance with or without security. However, Indian law prohibits the company from conducting any banking business and for this project it has to done partnership with any bank. Whatsapp launched the unified payment interface trial in 2018 on 1 million consumers in India. But this project has not been activated yet due to the various regulatory restrictions and the company wanted to introduce this payments feature in the late last year but failed to get approval from management. In April the facebook’s head of India Ajit Mohan said in an interview that there are still one million Whatsapp payment users.
Whatsapp has 40 crores consumers in India and it can surpass other companies like phonepe and Google Tez in terms of digital payments. According to an estimation Indian digital payment industry could reach to one trillion dollars by 2023. In April Facebook had invested about 6 billion dollars in Indian mobile company Reliance Jio and according to its agreement Geo Mart a sub branch of this company will provide facility to people to order rations through Whatsapp under a program. Interesting thing is that the loan scheme from Whatsapp came to light when Amazon introduced a product named P-Letter under which users can purchase items up to 20,000 Indian rupees in Credit.