WhatsApp has introduced its own mobile payment service. The feature is currently being tested in India, where the company has tied up with a large number of banks in a bid to break into the local market.
India is WhatsApp’s biggest market; with over 200 million daily active users. The country also represents one of the largest growing markets in the world, and is relatively untapped by global players. Making it extremely valuable for a smaller player like WhatsApp that is trying to catch up with bigger competitors like Line and WeChat.
That is also not to mention the amount of special attention that its parent company Facebook has been putting on the South Asian country.
WhatsApp Payments currently only allows people to send money to each other – and doesn’t include merchant accounts yet. It will presumably be expanded to actually be capable of being used to pay for goods and services; but for now it looks like the service will be largely beneficial for breadwinners trying to wire money home to their families.
Whatsapp hasn’t announced any plans for the payment system at the moment. And to be fair, it barely announced the start of the beta test to begin with. The instant messaging service will likely have more to say when its ready to fully deploy the payment solution.