Whatsapp, the world’s biggest mobile messaging service provider, will soon allow customers to share something more than just photos and videos. Having observed the Indian market and the large consumer base it provides, Whatsapp is possibly moving into online payments. The messaging giant is currently looking to hire a senior executive to head digital payment efforts in the South Asian region. This new position will be called “Digital Lead- India” and will be based in California, where Facebook, the owner of Whatsapp is headquartered. The position firstly requires identification under the Indian Aadhar program along with knowledge and familiarity with the Unified Payments Interface. It is the responsibility of the Digital Lead to support Indian customers with inquiries related to digital transactions, collaborate with banks and help scale up the global support for digital transactions.
With over 200 million users in India, it is no surprise that Whatsapp has chosen India for their first foray into digital payments. An official said, “India is an important country for Whatsapp and we’re further understanding how we can contribute more to the vision of Digital India”. No comment was made on further plans, but an Indian tech news website cited sources with knowledge of the matter saying, the service could be launched in the second half of 2017. The popularity of online payment has soared in India with PM Narendra Modi banning old 500 and 1000 rupee notes in November 2016. This unexpected decision wiped 85% of cash out of circulation and is leading to a major boost not only for digital transaction providers but also for the government’s payment platforms. With new online payment portals like Samsung Pay or TrueCaller Pay coming into the picture, Indian customers are spoilt for choice.