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WhatsApp’s UPI-based payment service may finally reach its millions of users in India this year

Men pose with smartphones in front of displayed Whatsapp logo.
Men pose with smartphones in front of displayed Whatsapp logo. (REUTERS)

During the call, Zuckerberg said how the firm saw a major growth potential for WhatsApp Pay in India ever since it was introduced to a million users in 2018.

Facebook's WhatsApp started testing its UPI-based WhatsApp Pay service in India back in 2018. It rolled out as an invitation-based feature on both Android and iOS apps. Now, almost two years after testing it in the country, the instant messaging service may finally bring it to all the users in India, as indicated by the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during the company's latest earnings call.

During the call, Zuckerberg said how the firm saw a major growth potential for WhatsApp Pay in India ever since it was introduced to a million users in 2018. "One example that we've been working on is WhatsApp Payments where you're going to be able to send money as quickly and easily as sending a photo. We got approval to test this with 1 million people in India back in 2018," said Zuckerberg.

However, he added that the service may reach all the users in India and some other countries officially in the next six months. "And when so many of the people kept using it week after week, we knew it was going to be big when we get to launch. I'm really excited about this, and I expect this to start rolling out in a number of countries and for us to make a lot of progress here in the next 6 months," he added during the earnings call.

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Facebook is betting big in the commerce and payments segment in India and some other countries. The CEO confirmed that one of Facebook's plans is to facilitate more commerce from Facebook Marketplace and Instagram shopping, both of which are also available in India.

"So we're taking a number of different approaches here, ranging from people buying and selling to each other directly to businesses setting up storefronts, to people engaging with businesses directly through messaging and a number of things on payments ranging from existing -- using existing national systems like India's UPI to creating new global systems," the Facebook CEO added.

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