New WhatsApp Payments head appointed; Manesh Mahatme, former Amazon exec, set to take on Paytm, Google Pay, and PhonePe
The new WhatsApp Payments head has been named and he is Manesh Mahatme, a former Amazon senior executive. WhatsApp has appointed Mahatme as a director whose focus will be on boosting the company's payments business in India by enhancing the experience of users, scaling the service offering and also work towards contributing to WhatsApp's vision of digital and financial inclusion in India, revealed an official statement. India is WhatsApp's biggest market and competes with players like Paytm, Google Pay, Walmart-owned PhonePe and Amazon Pay.
Before joining WhatsApp, Mahatme has had 17 years of experience in digital financial services and payments. He has worked with Citibank, Airtel Money and Amazon. In his current job at WhatsApp, he can draw from his wide related experience from Amazon where he was a Director and Board member of Amazon Pay India for 7 years. He was in charge of the product, engineering, and growth teams, a statement from WhatsApp said.
"We are excited to have Manesh join our WhatsApp India team. Manesh has been one of (the) key innovators driving the growth of digital payments in India over the last decade, and his experience will help us maximise the impact and scale of payments on WhatsApp," Abhijit Bose, Head of WhatsApp in India, said.
In his reaction to the move, Mahatme said, "I am super excited to be a part of this growth story”.
WhatsApp has immense potential to digitally empower people across segments and help accelerate the Government of India's efforts to drive financial inclusion through UPI and digital payments, he added.
In 2018, WhatsApp had started testing its UPI-based payments service in India. Notably, it allowed users to utilise its tremendously popular messaging platform to send and receive money. India has 53 crore WhatsApp users, government figures show.
WhatsApp received the go-ahead from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in November 2021 to start its payments service in India with a maximum registered user base of 20 million in UPI.