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WhatsApp adds competing in-app payment options as part of its India commerce drive.

(Qnnflash) — On Wednesday, WhatsApp announced its intention to introduce credit card payment options and incorporate services from competing digital payment providers within its application in India. This strategic move by the Meta-owned platform aims to enhance its range of commercial solutions in its largest market.

In India, the user base of WhatsApp exceeds 500 million individuals; nevertheless, regulatory authorities have imposed a limitation on its in-app WhatsApp Pay service, restricting its usage to a maximum of 100 million users.

Consumers engaging in buying activities on WhatsApp have the option to utilize well-known payment systems such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google Pay, Paytm, and Walmart’s PhonePe. However, it is important to note that these payment methods can only be accessed after being redirected outside the WhatsApp platform.

According to a blog post by Meta, it will now be feasible to make payments through competing businesses, as well as any other services that operate on India’s quick money transfer system, UPI, directly within the WhatsApp platform. Additionally, the application will provide new features for credit and debit card transactions.

The recent hires serve to strengthen the strategic vision of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who aims to make business messaging a significant driver of the company’s sales growth. This objective has become increasingly important as Meta’s core advertising business and metaverse project face mounting challenges.

According to a spokesman from Meta, while there are restrictions on the number of users allowed to trade via WhatsApp Pay in India, there are no such limitations for users engaging in business transactions on WhatsApp through alternative means.

With an estimated monthly user base of over 300 million individuals and a total transaction value of around $180 billion, the newly introduced transaction alternatives have the potential to operate as a compelling incentive for businesses to remunerate Meta in exchange for gaining access to WhatsApp customers.

Currently, WhatsApp has mostly focused on conducting limited pilot programs for end-to-end purchasing experiences in India. These initiatives involve partnerships with well-known organizations like JioMart, run by Mukesh Ambani, widely regarded as India’s richest person. Additionally, WhatsApp has also initiated partnerships with the metro systems in Chennai and Bengaluru cities.

According to the blog post, the newly introduced payment facilities would be accessible to any organization in India utilizing WhatsApp’s business platform, mostly catering to large enterprises.

According to a second blog post, Meta is planning to extend its Meta Verified membership program to businesses worldwide. This program will serve as a means for firms to authenticate their content and enhance its visibility in users’ feeds.

According to the post, Instagram and Facebook will be introducing monthly subscription options in a limited number of countries initially, with plans to extend this feature to WhatsApp at a later time. The pricing for these subscriptions will be $21.99 for each Facebook page or Instagram account, or $34.99 for both platforms.

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