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Facebook Finally Rolls Out WhatsApp Pay In India

Facebook Finally Rolls Out WhatsApp Pay In India

Facebook Inc’s (NASDAQ: FB) messaging platform WhatsApp is finally rolling out its payments service in India, it announced Friday (New Delhi time).

What Happened: "Starting today, people across India will be able to send money through WhatsApp," the company said in a statement. "This secure payments experience makes transferring money just as easy as sending a message."

The move followed WhatsApp getting a nod of approval from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to roll out its payments service in the country on Thursday. 

WhatsApp Pay is based on Unified Payments Interface, or UPI, a real-time payments system enabling interbank transfers within India.

Initially, the messaging app is permitted to onboard 20 million registered users on the NPCI’s fund transfer system.

In October, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg disclosed that more than 100 billion messages are exchanged on WhatsApp each day, now.

Why Does It Matter: In June, the social media company was exploring a similar initiative in Brazil — using Facebook Pay to support WhatsApp payments. The Central Bank of Brazil initially authorized Facebook to test the feature but pulled back the sanction after eight days, according to Reuters.

Benzinga's Take: WhatsApp began testing the payments service in early 2018 and has had a long wait until Thursday's NPCI approval to expand.

The messaging platform is one of the most commonly-used messaging platforms in India and with an embedded banking feature, it could witness rising user engagement. It could be in a position to set up a nationwide payment network — potentially generating a significant daily transactional volume.

Price Action: Facebook shares closed 2.54% higher at $294.68 on Thursday.


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