WhatsApp’s delayed entry into India’s mobile payment sector looked set to be moving forward, with reports it would make its debut by the end of the month, more than two years after beta testing began and long after similar launches by big-name rivals.
This is far from the first time the product’s imminent availability has been predicted by India’s business and technology press, though the company has now settled issues with authorities on data policies and received a conditional nod from regulators.
Although widely flagged in India’s media, the latest report originates from comments made from financial sector publication Moneycontrol, which quotes sources within the banking sector.
If the rumours prove true, it will mark the end to a saga which began in February 2018, when a beta test on peer-to-peer cash transfers over WhatsApp began.
Despite early progress regularly being talked up by executives at the app company and parent Facebook, the full launch never materialised, as rules around data storage scuppered original plans.
The commercial service finally received a green light from regulators in February, though this is reportedly limited to an initial run of 10 million users after which it will be reviewed by regulators.
When it finally enters the market, WhatsApp faces stiff competition in payments with rivals including Google, Hike, Amazon and Paytm having provided similar services for some time.
However, WhatsApp does have the advantage of a large user base in the country for its messaging services.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back