Whatsapp has been wanting to efficiently penetrate the payments business in India since quite some time now. Additionally, it is yet to receive a complete confirmation about full roll-out from the authorities.
In such a situation, the Facebook-owned company has already set its sights on entering the lending market in India.
Whatsapp Lending Indian Customers?
According to a memorandum of association (MoA) in a regulatory filing by Whatsapp, last month, the instant messaging company is looking forward to providing lending solutions to its Indian customers.
The filings give an idea that WhatsApp Application Services could possibly be planning to do this via partnerships with banks because it said it won’t undertake any banking business according to the law.
The development comes as WhatsApp’s payments business is expected to get a green light in the coming months.
Whatsapp Partners with Reliance
It has surfaced that Whatsapp entered into a partnership with Reliance Retail last month for an online-to-offline (O2O) commerce play, which is likely to boost usage of WhatsApp Business.
Also the Facebook-Reliance deal resulted in JioMart, an e-commerce venture by Jio’s parent firm, testing an ordering system on WhatsApp.
This could turn out to be a good medium for Whatsapp to make money, as it is a free app.
Facebook has been struggling to roll-out the payment feature in India. It is true that it had to indulge in many discussions with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to iron out any hiccups that might cause a hindrance later on in the deal.
This would include small loans for the merchants using WhatsApp for their businesses.
Despite the partnership between Reliance and Facebook, there has as of now been no new news related to Whatsapp. Although deals should accelerate now, WhatsApp is yet to achieve 100% data-localisation compliance.
Has Coronovirus Outbreak Affected this?
Yes to it. The Covid-19 outbreak has brought an indefinite halt in almost every sector mankind has known.
Before the whole coronavirus situation, NPCI was actively thinking of allowing WhatsApp to gradually roll out its payments services to 10 million users, a surge from its current base of 1 million.
WhatsApp Payment uses Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for mobile transactions. However, it will not be able to roll out to WhatsApp’s 400 million-strong userbase until all the technicalities are sorted out.
The filings also showed WhatsApp’s Indian entity has increased its authorised share capital to Rs 1.6 crore from Rs 10 lakh earlier. This is typically an indication of more capital coming into a firm.