Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Wednesday that India would get access to payments via WhatsApp Business messaging, allowing customers to pay businesses on the app with the UPI option of their choice.
Zuckerberg made the announcement virtually during the Meta Conversations event focusing on WhatsApp Business, at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai.
The accepted payment methods now include Pay on WhatsApp, credit/debit cards, netbanking, Google Pay, PhonePe, Paytm, and more UPI options, according to a Meta media asset shown during the presentation. The initial payment partners are RazorPay and PayU.
WhatsApp’s payments solution was previously released in Singapore and Brazil.
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“Today, I’m excited to announce that we are bringing this service to India. With payments in India, we’re going to support other payment methods as well, including all UPI apps. This is going to make it even easier for people to pay Indian businesses within a Whatsapp chat using whatever method they prefer,” said the Meta CEO.
Zuckerberg also announced that Meta Verified would be expanded to businesses on WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook, starting with small companies before moving to larger ones. Verified business will get an official badge, impersonation protection, account support, and business features in the coming months.
Meta Verified for individuals on Facebook and Instagram was introduced in India earlier this year.
The WhatsApp-parent further announced the release of ‘WhatsApp Flows,’ which will be rolled out in the coming weeks to help automate common business processes such as booking tickets, filling in forms, or submitting applications.
Sandhya Devanathan, Meta’s VP for India, said that the company would be upskilling 10 million traders across 29 states in 11 Indian languages in the next three years.
Stressing on the penetration of WhatsApp in India, Devanathan said that 80% of Indian consumers used messaging as a preferred way to communicate with a business. She also pointed to thousands of WhatsApp messages being sent daily to book metro tickets, book cooking gas cylinders, and resolve customer service queries in the country, not necessarily in English.
WhatsApp is “used by nearly every smartphone wielding person in the country,” said Devanathan.
WhatsApp has 3.8 billion monthly users globally, Meta said during the presentation.