• Sunday, June 26, 2022

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Zuckerberg eyes deeper reach for WhatsApp payments service in India

In this photo illustration taken on November 6, 2020, a user checks the Facebook’s WhatsApp application payment feature on his mobile phone in Faridabad. (Photo by MONEY SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday(15) pushed the just-launched WhatsApp payments services in India by saying that the country is ‘very special’ and ‘important’.

Last month, WhatsApp received approval from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for rolling out its payments services in India.

“We just launched WhatsApp payments in India last month — now you can send money to your friends and family through WhatsApp, as easily as sending a message. That was possible because of the UPI system that has been built in India,” Zuckerberg said during a fireside chat with Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani.

Referring to late Dhirubhai Ambani’s vision of affordable connectivity in the country, Zuckerberg said, “Today Indians can communicate with one another for less than the cost of a postcard and that’s what we’ve tried to do with messaging… and hopefully we can do that together with payments and make it simple so people can use India’s new UPI system, which I think is just great”.

WhatsApp, with over 400 million users, will compete with players like Paytm, Google Pay, Walmart-owned PhonePe and Amazon Pay in the country.

In April, Facebook announced an investment of $5.7 billion in Jio Platforms.

Speaking on the occasion, Mukesh Ambani said that the partnership between Jio and Facebook will actually demonstrate that it is great for India, Indians, and small Indian businesses.

Ambani stated that technology, with all the digitisation steps that India has taken, will democratise wealth and value creation for individuals and small businesses.

“Jio brings digital connectivity, WhatsApp now with WhatsApp Pay brings digital interactivity, and the ability to move to close transactions and create value, and Jio Mart brings the unmatched online and offline retail opportunity, that gives our small shops which exist in villages and small towns in India, a chance to digitise and be at par with anybody else in the world,” Ambani said.

“India is building local capabilities and tech capacity to power innovative new business models and provide Indian citizens access to digital and financial inclusion. So, the decisions that are made here, they shape global discussion about how technology can drive more economic opportunity and better outcomes for people,” Zuckerberg said.

“Whether it’s in social commerce or education or financial services, there is a lot of innovation that happens here. And we are proud to partner with some of the teams that are working on these important challenges. India is a very special and important country for us.”

Eastern Eye

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