While long awaited WhatsApp Pay feature is facing delays, Facebook is reportedly bringing its payments features through Messenger app. The initial plan is to offer mobile recharges and top-ups as an extension of its Marketplace feature.
The feature is currently available in a few countries only – US, UK, and France. This will enable free friend-to-friend payments feature on Messenger app.
The link to services can be found on the Facebook timelines of some Indian users too.
The Facebook Pay project has faced delay because of the recent Cambridge Analytica data leak that earlier this year. Moreover, compliance requirements have only got stricter.
Facebook’s P2P Payments may set the ground for crypto.
Be it the WhatsApp or Messenger app, Facebook wants to strengthen the P2P payments features rather than full-fledged payments feature. In January, Facebook banned cyrptocurrency and ICO ads on the web platform. But in the matter of few months, it not only removed the ban but set up a separate blockchain division to explore the benefits of Facebook ecosystem.
The plan hints that Facebook is willing to introduce cryptocurrencies as part of its P2P payments facilities. That’s why David Marcus, former PayPal CEO, has been appointed as head of the Facebook blockchain group. He has set up a small group to explore the possibilities of blockchain across Facebook.
After launch, the cyrptocurrency transactions are likely to be introduced in India as well, only after the existing regulatory roadblocks are removed.
Though, the crypto communities across the internet have a mixed review about all this. One user asked, “Why should we give more data about ourselves to Facebook? Cyrptocurrency is supposed to be decentralized and making a company facilitate it will only centralize it. Bitcoin is peer to peer, no middle man.”
How’s WhatsApp Payments?
Despite the reported warning from Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), WhatsApp has apparently started rolling out its payment systems in India. MeitY asked for WhatsApp to wait till it gets a representation in India.
As reported by some Beta users, WhatsApp Beta has started giving payments feature in the settings menu. The feature is also available directly on the timeline where you can find the “Payments” option.
However, to avail the WhatsApp payments feature, the user will need to create a payments account. Here are the steps to follow:
WhatsApp>Settings>Payments>New Payments>Select Contact>Enter Amount>UPI Pin> Send.
ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, and Axis Bank have already partnered with WhatsApp. The company expects from all of its users to follow the terms and conditions of these banks to avail payments-related service terms.
Earlier MeitY had asked WhatsApp to furnish all the details about its payments service and partner banks. Though, the spokeswoman from WhatsApp denied disclosing about the letter and told that their company is working closely with the government to expand the feature to more people.
An RBI circular suggests that a company offering payments solutions in India must have its offices and data server in India. But WhatsApp seems in clear violation of this rule.
Let’s look at the future of WhatsApp Payments in India.