WhatsApp to launch peer-to-peer mobile payments in India
After last year's demonetization in India, digital wallet apps have skyrocketed in popularity. Reportedly, a big name in the messaging market is also looking to join the race, as WhatsApp is preparing the release of peer-to-peer payments via its messaging app in India.
TechCrunch reached out to the Facebook-owned company for comment, but what it received in response was neither a confirmation, nor a denial of the rumor.
“India is an important country for WhatsApp, and we're understanding how we can contribute more to the vision of Digital India. We're exploring how we might work with companies that share this vision and continuing to listen closely to feedback from our users,” WhatsApp said in a statement.
During a visit to India in February, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton confirmed that the company was “in the early stages” of looking into payment services. So, taking that into account, paired with WhatsApp's cryptic repy to TechCrunch's inquiry, we believe there might be some truth to these rumors.
Facebook already added payments to its Messenger app in the US, but in India, WhatsApp has proven to be far more popular. However, assuming WhatsApp does get peer-to-peer payments in India, we can't help but to wonder whether they will make their way to Western markets as well.