WhatsApp is set to offer cashback rewards for Indian users of its peer-to-peer payments service in a bid to increase the popularity of its payment feature in the country, reported Reuters.

The Meta-owned instant messaging app, which launched its payment service in India in November 2020, allows users to send money to their contacts from within its platform.

WhatsApp now plans to offer users cashback of up to $0.40 (INR33) for transfers using its payments service, a source privy to the company’s plans divulged to the news agency.

The incentive will be spread over three transactions and will be irrespective of the amount being transferred.

The move, which is said to be part of WhatsApp’s “user acquisition drive”, comes shortly after WhatsApp’s regulatory nod in the country to expand its payments offering to 100 million users.

Responding to the news agency’s query on the development, WhatsApp said that it is “running a campaign offering cashback incentives in a phased manner to our users as a way to unlock the potential of payments on WhatsApp.”

WhatsApp is also piloting a similar initiative for merchant payments, according to the report.

The platform is also testing a cashback programme for users who pay high highway tolls and utility and other bills using the app, two sources said.

Another source added that WhatsApp is planning to test incentives for users making mobile payments for Indian telecom operator Reliance Jio.

WhatsApp did not comment on these plans.

Alphabet’s Google Pay, Softbank and Alibaba-backed Paytm and Walmart’s PhonePe are amongst the main competitors for WhatsApp in the Indian payment space.

A WhatsApp internal study in June last year, seen by Reuters, cites incentives amongst the top sign-up reasons for its competitor apps in the country.

The study, titled “Winning from behind on India payments”, also assessed the need for the app to expand its payment feature beyond peer-to-peer payments as its users turn to rival apps for merchant and bill payments.

In December last year, Meta expanded the pilot of its cryptocurrency wallet, Novi, to its messaging platform WhatsApp in the US.