The full rollout of WhatsApp Payments in India in Fall of 2021 could serve as a harbinger of access to Peer-to-Peer payments in underserved communities worldwide. The sheer scale of WhatsApp in India provides a guide of how to create new opportunities through the existing and widely adopted platform. As Manan Dixit explains in The Economic Times:
“Given the sheer ubiquity of the platform, WhatsApp’s foray into the digital payments landscape could potentially be a game-changer. WhatsApp’s 400 million-plus user base, India could see a significant increase in digital payments. Digital payment usage is soaring in urban areas across the country. Digital payments in rural India will be encouraged by the growing use of WhatsApp in these areas. While every other mobile user is on WhatsApp, bringing in the ease of money transfer while chatting, without even having to skip the window, completely elevates the convenience factor. In fact, the simple chatting feature is the edge that WhatsApp Payment has over its competitors that seldom extend an interactive feature.”
WhatsApp’s market prevalence creates an easy entry point into Peer-to-Peer payments for underserved communities within India, which could serve as a guide for further expansion into related communities worldwide. In addition, given the large number of users worldwide of Meta’s platforms, merchants could also see benefit from acceptance of P2P payments through WhatsApp and other related services.
Overview by Jordan Hirschfield, Director of Research at Mercator Advisory Group