WhatsApp to roll out payments in India later this year

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WhatsApp is all set to launch its much talked about payments service in India later this year, Will Cathcart, the newly appointed global head, said on July 25.

“We can launch the service across the country later this year after meeting regulations,” he said.

He was speaking at an event to promote small businesses.

WhatsApp has around 400 million users in India out of the 1.5 billion users globally.

Earlier this year, the Facebook-owned messaging platform also set up data storage facilities in India for WhatsApp Pay, its payments services.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) norms require global payments services companies to store their data within India.

WhatsApp’s payments service was started as a pilot project to around 1 million users last year. However it has still not managed to launch full fledged service in India.

The company on May 3 told the Supreme Court that it would comply with the Reserve Bank of India’s data localisation norms before launching the full payments service in the country.

Amitabh Kant, chief executive officer of NITI Aayog, who was also present on the occasion, took a dig at Whatsapp, saying that it was slow in its launch and should fulfill all the regulatory commitment and drive digital payments in India.

Whatapp and NITI Ayog also announced a partnership to promote women entrepreneurs in India.

Under this partnership, Whatsapp and NITI Ayog will aim at capacity building of women entrepreneurs. Whatsapp will also partner with the Women Transforming India (WTI) Awards 2019 and will give $100,000 to the WTI winners.

The WTI awards, which is organised by NITI Ayog in partnership with the United Nations, recognises stories of exceptional achievements by women who are challenging the stereotypes.
According to Whatsapp, entrepreneurs contribute significantly to the growing digital economy in India.

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