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February 10, 2020

WhatsApp set to roll out payment services in India in phases

Instant messaging platform WhatsApp has secured key regulatory approval to launch its payment services in India in phases.

According to a Business Standard report, the company has secured green light from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to operate WhatsApp Pay.

The regulatory nod comes after WhatsApp agreed to tweak its proposal to comply with local requirements. Earlier, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also approved WhatsApp Pay.

Notably, the move comes nearly two years after WhatsApp carried out pilot tests.

In the first phase, WhatsApp Pay will be made available to 10 million customers, the report added citing a source familiar with the matter. Gradually, it is expected to scale-up operations.

The source told Business Standard: “If WhatsApp is able to fulfil the compliance requirements, the messaging platform will be able to do a full roll-out.”

However, WhatsApp and NPCI did not respond to Business Standard queries on the move.

WhatsApp, as a messaging service, has more than 400 million users in India.

WhatsApp Pay is based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) standard. This standard allows users to transact without using their net banking credentials.

Several other apps such as Google Pay, PhonePe, Paytm and NPCI-created BHIM are also based on UPI standard.

WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for $21bn in 2014.

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