WhatsApp has started working on building its payments service for other countries even as it waits for the “green light” from Indian authorities for offering the feature to its user base here.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been testing its payments services in India for a few months now with about one million users and is waiting for clearance from the government for a full-fledged rollout across the country.
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, in a recent investor call, said WhatsApp’s payments services “gives people a really simple way to send money to each other and contribute to greater financial inclusion”.
He added that feedback and usage have been “very strong” among people who have used the service.
“All signs point to a lot of people wanting to use this when the government gives us the green light. And in the meantime, we’ve broadened our focus to building this for other countries so we can give more people this ability faster,” he said.
Zuckerberg added that over the next five years, the company is focused on building the business ecosystem around messaging on WhatsApp and Messenger.
WhatsApp has been working with the Indian government, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and multiple banks to further expand its payments feature to more users in India, a company official had told media.
According to government sources, the Indian IT Ministry has told WhatsApp to prioritise curbing of fake news on its platform, against the backdrop of lynching incidents claiming many lives, over its plans to launch payments service.