WhatsApp has made a strategic move to revolutionize digital payments and business services in India. With over 500 million users in the country, WhatsApp is set to enhance its commerce offerings by integrating credit card payments and services from rival digital payment providers within its app.
In the past, regulatory limitations capped WhatsApp Pay at 100 million users in India, forcing shoppers to use external services like Google Pay, Paytm, and PhonePe. However, now, users can make payments directly within WhatsApp, including transactions via India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Additionally, users will soon have the option to link their credit and debit cards for seamless transactions.
This expansion aligns with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision to elevate business messaging as a major driver of company growth. As Meta faces challenges in its core advertising business and metaverse projects, WhatsApp’s role in facilitating business transactions becomes increasingly vital.
Notably, while the cap on WhatsApp Pay users remains, there are no restrictions on the number of users engaging in transactions with businesses through other payment methods within WhatsApp.
This move is poised to attract businesses looking to tap into the immense Indian market, where approximately 300 million people conduct transactions worth around $180 billion monthly via UPI. WhatsApp’s new payment tools will be accessible to any business in India using WhatsApp’s business platform, a boon primarily for large companies.
In a parallel development, Meta is launching its Meta Verified subscription program globally, offering businesses a means to verify authenticity and enhance their content visibility. Monthly subscriptions priced at $21.99 for Facebook or Instagram accounts (or $34.99 for both) will be available, initially on Instagram and Facebook, expanding to WhatsApp in the future.