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April 29, 2020

WhatsApp Payments eyeing Indian lending market

Facebook-owned digital payments platform WhatsApp Payments is reportedly mulling to foray into Indian’s lucrative loans and lending market soon.

In one of its regulatory filing, WhatsApp Payments has mentioned credit as one of its business objectives for India.

WhatsApp is looking at lending to its customers in India, according to one of its objectives of operations listed in its memorandum of association (MoA) of its local entity last month.

The company, in its filing with the ministry of corporate affairs, said it would explore this business plan in partnership with local banks since it can’t indulge in any banking business as per the law.

“To advance money or give credit on such terms as may seem expedient, and with or without security, to customers and others,” the filing said.

The development comes barely two months after WhatsApp secured key regulatory approval to launch its payment services in India in phases.

However, the Facebook-owned company is yet to obtain permission from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for a nationwide launch of its payments service.

Recently, WhatsApp forged a partnership with Reliance Retail for an online-to-offline (O2O) commerce play to boost the adoption of WhatsApp Business, a dedicated messaging app for small businesses.

In recent months, various payments firms including Paytm and MobiKwik have started offering credit, or online lending in India.

Very recently, tech giant Amazon also launched its Pay Later credit offerings in the Indian market. This service offers a zero-interest credit to the company’s Indian customers to purchase essential products.

Acquired by Facebook for $21bn in 2014, WhatsApp has more than 400 million users in India.

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