WhatsApp recently launched their app for small businesses and now are looking to WhatsApp payments which are launching in India
According to the company, 80% of small businesses in India and Brazil say WhatsApp helps them both communicate with customers and grow their business so it’s no surprise to see them want to capture some of the lucrative payments market in the sub-continent.
India is WhatsApp’s biggest market which has given rise to some interesting social problems. Indians like to be part of big family and friends groups but also have a habit of sending each other inspirational ‘Good morning’ picture memes. Not only is this so wide spread that the sheer volumes of images sent each day slows the Internet down, but also because Indians generally have budget smart phones they have to delete the images on a daily basis as their phone memory rapidly fills up with 1000s of images.
With the widespread adoption of WhatsApp in the country, it makes sense for WhatsApp payments to come to India first. Whilst WhatsApp haven’t yet made an announcement, the National Payments Corporation of India marks the official launch as they oversee all payment services in the country.
“NPCI has given its consent to roll out WhatsApp BHIM UPI beta launch with limited user base of 1 million and low per transaction limit. Four banks will join the multi-bank BHIM UPI model in phases (in the coming weeks) and full feature product shall be released after the beta test is successful.”
– National Payments Corporation of India 16/2/18
Messaging app payment services are interesting as they have the potential for fast growth through consumer to consumer payments, for example to settle a bill for a meal out. Where WhatsApp becomes interesting is their business app which could attract consumer to business payments which in the future could start to power ecommerce payments.