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Meta to Expand WhatsApp Payment Service to India

Meta Platforms has announced the launch of its WhatsApp payment function on the Indian financial market.

Meta to Expand WhatsApp Payment Service to India

As a result of the implementation of this decision of the technology giant, residents of the South Asian country will have the opportunity to purchase goods and services directly from local companies via chat. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of the payment function in India at an event in Mumbai on Wednesday, September 20.

The technology giant’s payment service is already operating in Singapore and Brazil. The launch of this digital product, designed to provide commercial interaction, means a new dimension of the company’s presence in the Indian market, which has more than 400 million potential users. If the experience of operating a payment service in this country proves successful, Meta will receive a significant additional source of income.

Mark Zuckerberg, announcing the launch of a financial and trading solution in India, said that users will have access to simplified payment mechanisms for goods and services of local companies in WhatsApp chat. For business representatives, this service also means optimizing existing mechanisms of interaction with customers.

Meta acquired WhatsApp in 2014. The value of this transaction amounted to $19 billion. Currently, the technology giant is seeking to improve profitability indicators by applying the practice of charging companies for access to certain premium category functions.

The payment service that exists in the chat space will support credit and debit cards. The tech giant has also provided the possibility of integration with Indian apps similar to Venmo or Zelle. Buyers of goods and services will be able to use the payment service for free. At the same time, a processing fee is provided for businesses, similar to a credit card transaction.

WhatsApp is a popular application all over the world, but special consumer demand for this app is fixed in countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, and India. Residents of these states often use this service to interact with local companies. Currently, more than 200 million firms communicate with customers through the WhatsApp business app.

At the same time, turning the demand for the service into a positive financial indicator has become a difficult task for the technology giant, whose ownership structure also includes Facebook and Instagram. According to Mark Zuckerberg, the desire to monetize WhatsApp lags behind the efforts of other social media apps. Launching a payment service in India is an important decision within the framework of these intentions. If the use of WhatsApp in a commercial context is successful in the market of this country, the technology giant will significantly expand the user base and on a large scale increase the number of businesses interacting with the platform owned by Meta. All these positive consequences of the successful scenario of the introduction of a payment service in India provide for the emergence of new income opportunities.

The WhatsApp business app is designated by the tech giant as free, but at the same time, some paid features are provided. Meta has launched click-to-message ads on this virtual platform. For a tech giant, this is a source of income. Meta also makes money by providing companies with the opportunity to create advertising materials on Instagram and Facebook with a link to WhatsApp chat. According to Mark Zuckerberg, this solution, which is also available in the app Messenger, generates an annual profit of $10 billion.

WhatsApp charges large companies for direct conversations with customers. Last quarter, Mark Zuckerberg reported that the number of firms that use paid messaging products has doubled compared to the figure recorded in 2022.

Meta first launched payments for WhatsApp in Brazil in 2020. This experience at the initial stage of the implementation of the intention of the technology giant turned out to be unsuccessful. The company was forced to suspend the operation of the payment service due to the relevant decision of regulators, stating antitrust problems. In March of this year, the technology giant received approval to resume the operation of the commercial offer.

WhatsApp does not expect any opposition from regulators in India, where sending money to relatives and friends has been a common practice for many years and is not perceived as something like a groundbreaking innovation.

As we have reported earlier, WhatsApp Business Gains 150 Million Users in 3 Years.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.