WhatsApp approved to expand payments service to 100 million users in India

Asian Tech Press (Apr. 14) -- Meta Platforms Inc's messaging app WhatsApp has gotten regulatory approval to expand its payments service to 100 million users in India.

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) told WhatsApp on Wednesday it can increase the number of users of its payments service to 100 million from 40 million currently, sources said.

While the relaxation is a good change, the new cap could still limit WhatsApp's growth prospects given that it has more than 500 million users in India.

The NPCI approved WhatsApp to launch its payment service in 2020. The company started with 20 million users, and the cap was raised to 40 million last November.

WhatsApp has repeatedly told the NPCI that it wants to operate "without a cap", but the regulator privately believed that allowing all its users to access the payments service could put pressure on the country's financial infrastructure, a source said.

In India's digital market, WhatsApp competes with Alphabet Inc.'s Google Pay, Paytm, backed by SoftBank and Ant Group, and Walmart's PhonePe.

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