Facebook’s WhatsApp Plans to Launch Mobile Payments in Indonesia

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by Ikenna Uwakwe · 3 min read
Facebook’s WhatsApp Plans to Launch Mobile Payments in Indonesia
Photo: Jan Persiel / Flickr

Facebook Inc further extends its reach towards establishing its dominance in the Asian market. Having that it’s instant-messaging app – WhatsApp partners with multiple Indonesian digital payment firms to offer their mobile transaction services.

Indonesia has an estimated value of 260 million people. The largest economy in the southeastern region of Asia enlists among the top-five largest markets for WhatsApp, with over 100 million Users. Adding that the Indonesian e-commerce sector is believed to upsurge to an approximate value of $100 billion by 2025, Facebook Inc disclosed its interest to engage heavily with the Indonesian mobile payment processing industry.

The social media giant not long ago voiced its plan to fully partake in the Asian market. WhatsApp already has the necessary infrastructure in place to introduce WhatsApp Pay into the Indian market, which houses almost 400 million WhatsApp users, according to The Economic times. However, the Indian government ushered in privacy-related regulations soon after the WhatsApp Pay beta test in 2018, thereby slowing down the pace of this development.

Similarly, Indonesia shares the same stringent digital payment regulations. But unlike in India where it plans to offer direct peer-to-peer services. WhatsApp Pay would provision such payment services by means of a third-party digital wallet in this case. In a recent publication by Reuters, it was gathered that WhatsApp is already engaged in progressive dialogues with various payment processing agencies. Such as a subsidiary of the Lippo Group – OVO, payment processing company – DANA, ride-hailing firm – Go-Jek and a state-owned Bank Mandiri.

Subsequently, a Facebook spokeswoman specifically disclosed to Reuters the company’s plans to bring digital payments to more countries:

“WhatsApp is in conversations with financial partners in Indonesia about payments, however the discussions are in early stages and we do not have anything further to share at this stage.”

The idea to delve fully into the Indonesian market was made known earlier this year following a disclosure by the CEO of Facebook Inc – Mark Zuckerberg, who stated that the company would be introducing WhatsApp payments to ‘some countries’ later this year.

Since Zuckerberg aired his plans for WhatsApp, it became glaring as to what is to be expected of the instant-messaging app. All thanks to it been akin to WeChat. Yet, a handful of setbacks are bound to fraught with this new development such as an increased reliance on ad revenue, decreased user growth as well as the reins of regulatory entities. Nonetheless, Facebook has the advantage of learning from its predecessors in this context. And ultimately writing its own story.

Facebook Inc possess a wide range of clientele with over 2.7 billion users worldwide. Obviously, WhatsApp Pay could leverage the vast popularity of its parent company trailing the paths of the two largest online and mobile payment platforms in the world – AliPay and WeChat Pay. Originally slated to kickstart towards Q2 2019. However, sources has it that such plans might become futile as the WhatsApp Pay service is expected to be launched in India before Indonesia.

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