WhatsApp Arms Itself for Payments in India

With WhatsApp's parent Facebook embroiled in data privacy controversies, numerous questions have been raised about the app's payments feature
WhatsApp Arms Itself for Payments in India
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Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India
3 min read

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The Indian digital payments space is rapidly expanding. From the likes of PayTm having established themselves in the sector to new entrants looking to ease it further for users, there’s no stopping the digital revolution in payments.

Given India’s evolving market, it comes as no surprise that established players in other sectors too are looking at giving payments a chance. With over 200 million active users, WhatsApp is now set to launch WhatsApp payments in India. Having rolled a beta version earlier, the messaging platform is now ready to roll out the feature to all users.

But it’s not going to be easy. With WhatsApp’s parent Facebook embroiled in data privacy controversies, numerous questions have been raised about the app’s payments feature with the most important one being - How safe is it really?

As WhatsApp readies itself to step into the world of payments in India, it is arming itself to ensure a smooth rollout.

Entrepreneur India takes a look at how the messaging platform is taking a cautious approach to ensure that the payments feature is well accepted without any hiccups.

UPI enabled

To have a mass approach for its payments feature, WhatsApp had partnered with National Payments Council of India and adhered to the rules and regulations for the rollout of the feature. WhatsApp’s payments feature will be UPI enabled and will also "reflect the addition of payment interoperability features”.

Update of its Privacy Policy

With Facebook immersed in data privacy controversies and issues, it comes as no surprise that WhatsApp’s credibility was questioned by many. People also wondered about how much of the data will be passed on to its parent company Facebook. However, WhatsApp had earlier said that it shares limited data from its payment service with Facebook.

In a statement released to the press, WhatsApp said, “We'll be updating our WhatsApp payments Terms of Service and Privacy Policy to provide simpler language on how the payments feature operates. It also reflects the addition of payment interoperability features we've added since the beta started. We've worked closely with NPCI, our bank partners, and the Indian government on these details of how our service works. We look forward to expanding WhatsApp payments soon.”  

24-hour customer service

The messaging platform is cautiously venturing into the payments space. Considering the initial confusion or problems that could emerge with the payments feature, they are also looking at a 24-hour on call customer support. To have a mass outreach the call support will be available not just in English but also Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati and initially.  

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