ECONOMÍA DIGITAL

Whatsapp seeks permission to launch payments service in India

6 de diciembre, 2018

Tiempo estimado de lectura: 2 minutos

Facebook-owned chat app WhatsApp is requesting permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to expand its payment services, according to Business Today

WhatsApp VP Chris Daniels wrote a letter to the central bank urging it to grant the firm permission to extend its payment service to its users. WhatsApp initiated a payments beta test in India in February, following ongoing rumors of its debut, and expanded its services with the launch of a QR code option in March.

A full-fledged launch in India can position WhatsApp favorably over other US firms in the Indian mobile payments space.

WhatsApp completed a successful beta testing stage of its payments service, but faced setbacks from the government that delayed a full rollout. WhatsApp’s payment service reached over 1 million users during beta testing, but its full launch was delayed by the Indian government over privacy concerns, and it saw backlash from the government regarding fake messages on its platform. However, WhatsApp was the only US firm to meet the RBI’s October 15 deadline to comply with central bank regulations that mandate domestic data storage — the firm built a system that stores user payment information in India  — which Daniels reportedly points out in his letter to the central bank.

The firm’s success during beta testing suggests that the service would be popular among consumers upon its full launch. And WhatsApp already has a significant user base: Its chat app counts 230 million users in the country, giving it a compelling advantage over competing services — particularly US firms looking to break into the space. If granted permission to launch, the firm can continue to leverage its existing chat app users to deepen its share and accelerate its momentum in the region, ultimately mimicking the success of other chat apps, like Chinese chat app WeChat, which successfully transitioned into payments. If its request is approved, WhatsApp can gain an edge over its US competitors at a time when the space is becoming increasingly crowded and competitive: The Indian mobile payments market is expected to grow to a $1 trillion opportunity by 2023, according to a Credit Suisse estimate.

Fuente: Business Insider

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