WhatsApp Pay, which will be launching its digital payments service in India shortly, has partnered with ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, and Axis Bank to process transactions made by users. State Bank of India (SBI) will also be partnering with WhatsApp Pay after the necessary systems have been put in place by the company. While Facebook was targeting a full rollout with four partner banks initially, it has decided to go ahead with three partner banks for now.
The launch of WhatsApp Pay in India has been compared by many to WeChat’s payment service, which significantly transformed the online payment transaction process in China. WhatsApp Pay’s pilot version, which was introduced in February 2018 in India to 1 million of its users, received high praises.
WhatsApp recently also introduced additional features such as ‘Send to UPI ID’ and ‘Transact via UPI Code’ for Indian users. Given the fact that over 200 million Indians already use WhatsApp as a messenger, it is expected that customers will react favourably to WhatsApp Pay.
The digital payments sector in India is currently valued at around $200 billion. In a recent report, Credit Suisse, a leading international financial services firm, mentioned that India’s online payments industry is likely to grow manifold and touch a sum of $1 trillion by the year 2023. The report also stated that the value of these digital payments is likely to increase from the existing 10% to over 25% in the next few years.