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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Meta Expands WhatsApp Payment Service to India


Wed 20 Sep 2023 | 07:39 PM
WhatsApp
WhatsApp
Taarek Refaat

Meta Platforms has started expanding its WhatsApp payment feature to India, allowing users in the country to purchase goods and services directly from local businesses via chat.

The measure follows the launch of the service in Brazil and Singapore, a market of more than 400 million WhatsApp users. CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the plan at an event in Mumbai today.

“I am delighted to announce that this service is being offered in India, which will make it easier for people to pay Indian companies within WhatsApp conversations using any means they prefer,” he explained.

Meta, which acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion, is seeking more revenue by charging companies for some premium services. The new payment service will support credit and debit cards, as well as Indian apps similar to Venmo or Zelle. Using the service will be free for consumers, as companies pay a transaction fee similar to a credit card transaction fee.

More than 200 million businesses rely on WhatsApp Business to connect with customers in countries such as India, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico.

WhatsApp for business is currently free, however the app also earns money by clicking ads to open messaging, which enables companies to place ads on Instagram and Facebook that link to a WhatsApp chat. Zuckerberg explained that ads of this kind, also working on Messenger, could generate $10 billion a year for Meta.

WhatsApp also harvests money by charging big companies to have direct conversations with customers.