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WhatsApp noted that the payment option will be available in the latest version of Android and iOS apps.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB)-backed private messaging company WhatsApp has today announced that people across India can transact cash via the WhatsApp messaging app. According to a blog on WhatsApp official website, the company is working with five top Indian banks to make the initiative a success. The banks include ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank.
With the possibility of reaching out to over a billion Indians, WhatsApp designed the payment feature in collaboration with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) using the Unified Payment Interface (UPI). Facebook through WhatsApp is venturing more avenues to raise revenue as its main revenue source, the ad system, becomes unstable due to unpredictable factors.
Facebook stock enjoys a huge reception that WhatsApp has all over the world as observed in its past performance. Whereby FB stocks have over 43% year to date despite the market uncertainty.
Notably, Facebook shares closed yesterday trading at $294.68, 2.54% up, but had dropped approximately 1.74% during Friday’s premarket.
WhatsApp Is Working with Banks in India
According to WhatsApp, for one to successfully transact through its system, it will be necessary to have a bank account and a debit card in India. This is a noble idea that will save millions of people time and possible risk of contracting coronavirus.
With a huge number of India’s population still unbanked, the new payment service by WhatsApp will only be accessible by those with a smartphone and a bank account.
However, WhatsApp is working on future expansion into India’s rural population. “In the long run, we believe the combination of WhatsApp and UPI’s unique architecture can help local organizations address some of the key challenges of our time, including increasing rural participation in the digital economy and delivering financial services to those who have never had access before.” The company wrote in the blog post.
WhatsApp designed the payment system with security as a priority amid increased cyber theft orchestrated by hackers who identify loopholes in the system. The company noted that every user will be required to enter a UPI PIN for every transaction. In addition to the security system, WhatsApp noted that the payment option will be available in the latest version of Android and iPhone apps.
WhatsApp did not mention if there are plans to allow crypto leveraging or crypto payments in the new India services. However, with Facebook’s Libra project, there are possibilities of future inclusivity of cryptocurrency services putting in mind India is adopting digital assets at an unprecedented rate.
Mark Zuckerberg will be hailed for scaling Whatsapp to greater height after acquiring it a few years ago. “Whatsapp is opening up a world of opportunities for micro and small businesses that are the backbone of the Indian economy,” explained he.