Facebook moves closer to the release of its WhatsApp payment service in India

The WhatsApp payment system has been in beta testing in India since the beginning 2018, but the official release has yet to occur. However, now that Facebook have wrapped up an audit of related data practices, they are a step closer to an official release.

The payment system has been beta tested by over 1 million users and allows to send and receive digital payments. Due to government regulations, a third-party auditor must be brought in by Facebook to prove that any data surrounding the payments made using the WhatsApp service will be stored domestically in India.

WhatsApp is said to have submitted the auditor’s report to the Reserve Bank of India, India’s banking regulator, for approval, according to the Economic Times’ report on information received by an anonymous inside source.

Although the Indian digital payments market is projected to reach a worth of USD 1 trillion by 2023, according to a Credit Suisse source, upon entering the digital payments market, the WhatsApp service will have to face competition from PayTM, an Indian e-commerce payment system and digital wallet company with, and Amazon Pay.

Facebook hopes to find traction with the payment service, with spokesman Carl Woog stating that the company will “continue to work with our local partners towards a shared goal of supporting a more Digital India.”

The WhatsApp payment endeavour appears to have a far brighter future in the region than Facebook’s cryptocurrency, Libra, due to the ban on all regulated entities from dealing in virtual currencies, which was passed by the Reserve bank of India in 2018.