WhatsApp said on Wednesday it will offer credit card payments and services from rival digital payment providers within its India app, the latest move by the Meta-owned service to improve commerce services in its largest market. WhatsApp has more than 500 million users in India, although Indian regulators capped its in-app WhatsApp Pay service at 100 million users. People shopping on WhatsApp can also pay using popular services like Alphabet’s Google Pay, Paytm and Walmart’s PhonePe, but only if redirected outside of WhatsApp.

Meta said in a blog post that payments can now be made directly within WhatsApp through these rival services and any other service running on India’s instant money transfer system UPI. New in-app options for credit and debit cards will also be available.

The new additions support Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to make commercial messaging the “next major pillar” of the company’s sales growth, an agenda that comes as Meta’s core advertising business and Metaverse projects come under pressure becomes more urgent.

A Meta spokesperson said that while the number of WhatsApp Pay users in India will still be limited, there is no such limit on the number of users who are allowed to use other methods to transact with businesses on WhatsApp.

With some 300 million people in India spending around $180 billion through UPI every month, the new transaction option may prove to be a powerful inducement for businesses to pay Meta to acquire WhatsApp users.

WhatsApp’s end-to-end shopping experience in India has so far been limited to pilot projects such as JioMart, the online grocery service run by India’s richest man, billionaire Mukesh Ambani, and metros in the cities of Chennai and Bengaluru system.

The blog post stated that in the future, any Indian company using the WhatsApp business platform, which mainly serves large companies, will be able to use the new payment tool.

Another blog post stated that Meta has also expanded its Meta Verified subscription program to global enterprises, providing enterprises with a mechanism to verify the authenticity and improve the presence of their content in user feeds.

The monthly subscription service, which will be available on Instagram and Facebook in a few countries and will be expanded to WhatsApp later, will cost $21.99 (approx. Rs. 1,800) per Facebook page or Instagram account and $34.99 (approx. Rs. 2,900) for both. rupee). , according to the post.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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