• WhatsApp has got NCPI approval to offer Indian Payment Services to 100 million users. • At present, WhatsApp offers these services to 40 million subscribers. • More users can now use WhatsApp for making mutual payments.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased contactless payments, primarily through Bhim UPI, G-Pay, Phone Pe, etc. With a high subscriber base, WhatsApp also jumped into the fray to get NCPI approval to cater to 20 million users, which increased to 40 million in November 2021.
WhatsApp has repeatedly asked NCPI to accord permission to operate without a cap, but NCPI felt that allowing all users to access payment services could strain India’s financial infrastructure.
NCPI has now accorded regulatory approval to WhatsApp to offer Indian payments Services (IPS) to 100 million users. While this relaxation can provide relief to WhatsApp, it could still be a limiting factor as WhatsApp has at least 500 million Indian users.
Now, WhatsApp can directly compete with Google pay, PayTM, and Phone Pe in the Indian digital market. However, it also entails that WhatsApp should comply with Indian regulations and data storage norms that require data to be stored locally. Today, online transactions, e-wallet services, and lending activities have increased manifold in India. It engineers a shift of India’s cash-loving customers and merchants towards adopting digital payment methods.
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