BENGALURU (Reuters) – WhatsApp will roll out its payments service in India this year following a year-long pilot, its global chief Will Cathcart has said, as the Facebook-owned messaging giant taps an upsurge in digital payments in its dominant market.
WhatsApp is ubiquitous across India, where data consumption is surging thanks to cheap internet, but a full launch of its payments feature had been delayed amid some false messages circulating on the platform that have led to mob lynching and more government scrutiny, according to local media.
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The Menlo Park, California-based firm has also been trying to comply with Indian regulations including data storage norms that require all payments-related data to be stored locally.
“It’s a regulatory approval question in India at this point,” Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Thursday on the company’s earnings conference call in reference to WhatsApp Pay.
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“We’re also working beyond India in a number of other countries and hope to have this rolled out to a large percent of the people who use WhatsApp within the next year,” he added.
WhatsApp now has about 400 million users in India, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday, encompassing almost a third...
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