WhatsApp hunts for mobile payments partners - Mobile World Live

WhatsApp hunts for mobile payments partners

20 AUG 2019

WhatsApp entered talks with a number of digital payment companies in Indonesia as it continues to pursue its goal of incorporating cash transfer services into its messaging app, Reuters reported.

According to reports talks are ongoing with local players Go-Jek, Ant Financial-backed Dana and Ovo to use existing platforms to make payments within WhatsApp.

Although CEO of parent company Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg (pictured), said in May the company planned to launch the platform across several countries this year none have so far appeared. It has, though, been in the beta trial phase in India since early 2018.

The model proposed in Indonesia differs from the one it is trying to implement in India, where it plans to operate direct peer-to-peer (P2P) payments without a formal local partnership.

In Indonesia, the preferred route to market is thought to be through deals with local wallet providers due to licencing regulations, though its service would still require approval from the country’s central bank.

The news comes days after Indonesia unveiled a standard QR code system designed to simplify mobile payments and drive increased usage and financial inclusion in the country.

Payment problems
While its India version has been the subject of a lengthy trial and many rumours of imminent launch it has reportedly ran into regulatory problems.

Facebook has stated the pilot phase was positive without offering a firm release date. In the interim period a number of rivals have beaten WhatsApp to launch.

Although Facebook is yet to launch mobile payment services on WhatsApp, it does provide P2P through Messenger in the US. Its France and UK version of Messenger payments discontinued in June.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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