On Wednesday, Meta-owned (META.O) WhatsApp announced that it will enable credit card payments and services from competing digital payment providers in its India app, its latest gamble to grow commerce in its biggest market.
WhatsApp has almost 500 million users in India, but regulators have limited WhatsApp Pay to 100 million. After being transferred outside WhatsApp, WhatsApp shoppers could also use Google Pay, Paytm, and Walmart’s PhonePe.
Meta announced in a blog post that WhatsApp will now accept payments from competing applications and others that use UPI. In-app credit and debit card alternatives will also be added.
As Meta’s core advertisements business and metaverse project have struggled, CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s aim for business messaging to become the “next major pillar” of sales growth has gained urgency.
According to a Meta representative, WhatsApp Pay users in India will remain capped, while other WhatsApp users can transact with companies without restrictions.
The additional transaction alternatives could entice businesses to pay Meta for WhatsApp users since 300 million Indians spend $180 billion through UPI monthly.
WhatsApp has only offered end-to-end purchasing experiences in India through experimental programs with JioMart, run by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, and Chennai and Bengaluru metro systems.
According to the blog post, WhatsApp’s business platform, which services large Indian enterprises, will offer new payment facilities.
Meta is expanding its Meta Verified membership service to businesses worldwide to authenticate legitimacy and boost content in consumers’ feeds, a second blog post said.
According to the article, monthly subscriptions would cost $21.99 per Facebook page or Instagram account or $34.99 for both Instagram and Facebook in a few countries and WhatsApp after that.