After requesting no-cap flexibility for payments userbase, WhatsApp was granted double the payments userbase in India from the nation’s payment regulator.
Meta-backed WhatsApp has over 500 million users in India but was initially restricted to offering payment services to only 20 million. However, as the platform is breaching the threshold, it had asked the NPCI to remove the upper limit for enrolling more users for payments.
WhatsApp Payments in India
In just 5 years, the digital payments industry in India has already been crowded. Service providers are PayTM, PhonePe, GPay, FreeCharge, etc. are competing for their market share, leaving no space to even tech giants like Amazon.
All these service providers have their UI and offers running all the time, but use only a framework for processing payments – UPI. The Unified Payments Interface is a nation-backed service, regulated and maintained by the country’s payment regulator, the National Payments Corporation of India.
As many are having smartphones today with cheap internet prices, hundreds of millions have enrolled in either of the above payment services. As it’s lucrative, Facebook jumped in with WhatsApp last year, even after knowing it’s heavily crowded.
WhatsApp was given permission to conduct trials and serve only up to 20 million users in India. However, as the company is about to reach the limit soon, it has appealed to remove the upper cap for serving more users than other providers. But, NPCI has given permission only to double its current limit, as per a person in the knowledge of this case.
Though it’s a win for WhatsApp, it still isn’t beneficial, considering the platform has over 500 million users. The growth projections of the payments industry in India show a bright future, but tough competition is to be always considered. It’s unknown when WhatsApp will be maximizing its offering.