WhatsApp Pay is coming this year, report says


WhatsApp Pay could launch soon.

Angela Lang/The Techy Trends

WhatsApp is reportedly launching a payments system later this year, starting in India. Will Cathcart, the Facebook subsidiary’s global head, said Wednesday it has been testing its payments in India since last year, according to Business Today.

The messaging app has 400 million users in India and 1.5 billion globally, the report says, with the payments announcement coming as Facebook begins its play into cryptocurrency. Facebook last month unveiled the global digital coin, which will be managed by a governing body called the Libra Association and through a wallet service named Calibra. Libra is intended to be used to purchase products, send money internationally and make donations — but it cannot launch in India, where cryptocurrency is essentially banned.

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WhatsApp Pay would make sending money as easy as sending a message, and the company is looking to launch it in other international markets, Business Today said.

“We believe that if we get this right, it will accelerate financial inclusion and bring value for people in India’s fast growing digital economy,” Cathcart reportedly said. “We can’t wait to provide the service [to] more of our users all across India later this year.”

According to Business Today, WhatsApp last year said it had developed a payments data storing system that complied with the Reserve Bank of India’s policies.

WhatsApp and Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.