WhatsApp Pay may be available to you much earlier than you had thought possible. WhatsApp Pay, which has been in a Beta phase available to limited users may soon be rolled out official as early as next week, according to a Bloomberg report.
WhatsApp and its parent Facebook reportedly feel that any further delay in entering the market with the payment facility may make it difficult for them to catch up with competition. On the other hand, the general perception is that WhatsApp enjoys certain advantages that the other 2 major rivals in India, Googleâ€™s Tez and Paytm do not, which is a captive user base of 200 million.
The report also indicates that some of the channels Facebook has tied up with for the facility are still not fully ready with their own backbone infrastructure to handle the processes.
HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank are said to be the banking partners to have signed up with WhatsApp for facilitating money transfers and other payment transactions. Apart from these private entities, State Bank of India, the largest government-owned bank in India will also be part of the milieu. Possibly they are the ones still to complete their internal processes.
People compare WhatsAppâ€™s foray into the payments business to the revolutionary way WeChat did it in China and it is still considered the most preferred mode of payment especially among the youth.
Observers also recall that the pilot run by WhatsApp with about 1 million subscribers in February was received well by the users and that adds to the excitement if this piece of information is true that one will see the company launch the facility next week.
This pilot was openly criticized by rival Paytm. Fouder Vijay Shekhar Sharma tweeted that WhatsAppâ€™s payment platform looks more like a â€˜walled payments gardenâ€™.
That was probably to indicate that the data security issue faced by Facebook could impact this payment facility; however, the nodal agency, the National Payments Corporation of India, NCPI has expressed its satisfaction over this issue already.