WhatsApp Partners With Banks, Finance Lenders In New Initiative; Is WhatsApp Pay Finally Coming?


WhatsApp is pushing forward its payment service to make it more accessible to users in India. The popular messaging app is teaming up with Indian lenders to expand its financial services to rural areas of India, especially for lower-income individuals. Presently, WhatsApp has already partnered with ICIC Bank and HFDC Bank.

WhatsApp Partners With Banks, Finance Lenders In New Initiative


WhatsApp Partners With Banks

WhatsApp partnership with money lenders and banks helps build up the communication with customers via automated messages on the WhatsApp for business platform. "We now want to open up with more banks over this coming year to help simplify and expand banking services, especially to the rural and lower-income segments," Abhijit Bose, WhatsApp's India head said at a fintech summit.

Additionally, WhatsApp is also working on venturing into new projects with banks and other partners for other financial services like insurance and pensions in the rural areas. Bose further noted that the platform's aim over the next two-three years is to help low-wage workers and the unorganized, informal economy easily accesses three products - insurance, micro-credit, and pensions.

What About WhatsApp Pay?

The Facebook-owned company has been continually working on bringing out WhatsApp Pay in India. For more than two years, WhatsApp has been testing the service in India for limited users. The service is still on hold, waiting for regulatory approval for data localization before it can open it for a wider audience.

Previously, WhatsApp had said it is complying with India's requests to store the user data locally. Further, WhatsApp's parent company Facebook recently invested nearly Rs. 43,574 crores in Reliance, hoping to gain an inside track to push its payments service. Further, Reliance and Facebook have partnered for the JioMart service, to help people get their groceries delivered to their homes.

From the looks of it, it might still take a while for WhatsApp Pay to hit a wider audience. Till then, WhatsApp's new move to partner with regional money lenders and banks might help push a good word for the platform. Plus, the initiative will help reach the rural audience, considering that there are 400 million Whatsapp users in India alone.

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