Facebook the owner of popular messaging app WhatsApp is set to expand its arena of business in India and will now launch its digital payment app next week, reports the Mint. The app WhatsApp Pay will partner with three of India's largest private sector banks namely HDFC Bank Ltd, ICICI Bank Ltd and Axis Bank Ltd in processing the transfers. State of Bank India will also be included in the system once it has the necessary infrastructure at place.
A pilot version of WhatsApp Pay was launched in February. It allowed one million users to consume the service, and received excellent reviews and was perceived as a threat to its rivals Google Tez and Paytm. Both Google Tez and Paytm lack the benefits of being on social media.
If proven successful, the app can eat up a considerable share of business from its competitors such as Paytm or Google Tez, among others. It is right now the most used messaging app in India, with about 200 million users. As per market research, the daily usage of WhatsApp is 20 times higher than that of Paytm.
Another popular messaging app Wechat recently ventured into digital payments in China and witnessed exemplary success.
“WhatsApp has a great starting point: a monopoly in chat. High engagement makes it a credible competition," says Vivek Belgavi, leader for financial technology, PwC India