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May 13, 2022

On the web

WhatsApp Will Now Use Your ‘Legal Name’ for UPI Payments: How to Find Out Yours

BGR India

“Up till now, WhatsApp users could simply enter any name of their choice of up to 25 characters, even emojis. But this will change now. WhatsApp will now ask users for their ‘legal’ names to proceed with UPI-based payments on the platform. These ‘legal’ names are the names associated with the users’ bank accounts. They can be different from the profile names and will be displayed to the receiver. This change comes after the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) guidelines were set by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to crack down on payment frauds.”

April 21, 2022

On the web

How Meta Platforms Fell Behind in Indian Mobile Payments

Wall Street Journal

“Mark Zuckerberg has pinned his hopes on commerce to save his business from stagnating user engagement and decelerating advertising revenue growth. But in the massive market of India, Facebook parent company Meta Platforms has fallen far behind in mobile payments, which serve as the crucial last step in closing an online sale. It needs to get its act together quickly if it doesn’t want to lose out to Google and Walmart in the race for controlling digital payments in the world’s second-largest internet market. Meta has a popular mobile messaging platform in the country with WhatsApp, which has its own local payment service. But so far, the encrypted messaging app has been at loggerheads with the Indian government over multiple issues, all of which are likely impacting its payment ambitions in India.”

April 20, 2022

On the web

Meta suffers setback with WhatsApp business payments in Brazil

Financial Times

“Meta’s long-awaited plan to allow users to send money to businesses via messaging app WhatsApp in Brazil has been hit by clashes with potential payments partners, marking the latest blow to the tech giant’s sprawling ecommerce ambitions. WhatsApp had aimed to launch a payments-to-merchant (p2m) function in Latin America’s most populous country late last year, according to several people familiar with the project, in what would have been a world-first for the encrypted messaging app.”

April 14, 2022

On the web

WhatsApp Permitted to Extend Payments Service to 100 Million Users in India


“The National Payments Corporation of India, the payments body that oversees the widely popular UPI instrument, has given approval to WhatsApp to extend its payments service to 100 million users in the South Asian market, a person familiar with the matter said. WhatsApp was previously allowed to rollout WhatsApp Pay to 40 million users in the world’s second largest internet market. WhatsApp, the most popular smartphone app in India, initially rolled out its payments service in India in 2020 , but the Meta-owned service has struggled to expand the offering to a larger base in India because of confusing regulatory pushback. The NPCI has insisted that WhatsApp rolls out the payments service in step-by-step phases, a person familiar with the matter said, even as no other company has had to comply with a similar order.”

April 26, 2021

On the web

Nedbank Partners Mastercard, Ukheshe for WhatsApp Payments


“Nedbank, in collaboration with Mastercard and fintech firm Ukheshe, has launched Money Message, a payment platform that lets small and micro businesses receive in-chat payments from their customers via WhatsApp. In a statement, the big-four bank says a first in SA, the solution will enable merchants to send an invoice requesting a payment from any customer through WhatsApp. Their customers, in turn, can quickly settle a payment directly from the platform, it adds.”

March 31, 2021

On the web

Facebook Messaging Service Gets Delayed Brazil Nod for Payments


“Brazil’s central bank on Tuesday cleared the way for Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service to let its users send each other funds using the Visa Inc and Mastercard card networks, months after vetoing WhatsApp’s initial attempt. When WhatsApp tried to launch the transfer service last June, the central bank said it could damage Brazil’s existing payments system in terms of competition, efficiency and data privacy, adding that the service had failed to obtain the needed licenses. The regulatory friction was the latest setback for Facebook’s effort to use its social media platforms to compete with banks and fintechs in allowing fast electronic funds transfers.”

March 4, 2021

On the web

Axis Bank Launches WhatsApp Banking. All You Need to Know


“Axis Bank today announced the launch of banking services on WhatsApp to enable its retail customers. This will allow customers to seek information regarding their account balance, recent transactions, credit card payments, fixed and recurring deposit details, besides getting their queries answered in real-time. By using WhatsApp Banking, customers can now chat with Axis Bank for their queries related to their banking transactions, information like nearest branch, ATM or loan centre location, and can apply for various banking products as well.”

February 10, 2021

On the web

December 17, 2020

On the web

December 9, 2020

On the wires

Making it Easier to Shop on WhatsApp with Carts

“Starting today, we’re excited to bring carts to WhatsApp. Carts are great when messaging businesses that typically sell multiple items at once, like a local restaurant or clothing store. With carts, people can browse a catalog, select multiple products and send the order as one message to the business. This will make it simpler for businesses to keep track of order inquiries, manage requests from customers and close sales.”

November 5, 2020

On the web

WhatsApp gets approval to launch payments feature in India


“WhatsApp has received approval to roll out its payments service in India starting with 20 million users, the country’s flagship payments processor said on Thursday, giving the Facebook-owned app an entry into a crowded digital payments space. WhatsApp, which has over 400 million users in India, its biggest market, will compete with Alphabet Inc’s Google Pay, Softbank- and Alibaba-backed Paytm and Walmart’s PhonePe.”

October 23, 2020

On the web

Facebook adds hosting, shopping features and pricing tiers to WhatsApp Business


“It’s launching a way to shop for and pay for goods and services in WhatsApp chats; it’s going head to head with the hosting providers of the world with a new product called Facebook Hosting Services to host businesses’ online assets and activity; and — in line with its expanding product range — Facebook said it will finally start to charge companies using WhatsApp for Business.”

August 19, 2020

On the web

India watchdog throws out antitrust complaint against WhatsApp


“India’s antitrust watchdog has dismissed a case against Facebook’s WhatsApp, saying the company has not abused its dominant position to expand in the country’s digital payments market, according to an official order. A case in March alleged that WhatsApp was bundling its digital payment facility – WhatsApp Pay – within its messaging app for which it already has a large user base. The case alleged WhatsApp was abusing its position by forcing its payments feature on to its existing users.”

August 10, 2020

On the web

WhatsApp Pay: Awaiting Supreme Court verdict to roll out UPI-based payment service in India


“WhatsApp has about 400 million users in India, one of its largest userbase. The Facebook-owned instant messaging app has begun beta testing of its UPI-based payment service ‘WhatsApp Pay’ in India using 1 million users since 2018. Earlier, WhatsApp Pay was rejected questioning critical issues such as its compliance with the RBI’s two-factor authentication norms, its user data storage policy and about sharing of data with its parent company Facebook.”

July 23, 2020

On the web

Facebook’s WhatsApp to Partner With More Indian Banks in Financial Inclusion Push


“Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp plans to team up with more Indian lenders to expand banking services in rural areas and for lower income individuals, the messaging platform’s country head said on Wednesday. WhatsApp, which counts India as its biggest market with 400 million users, has already tied up with banks including ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank, allowing them to communicate with customers via automated text messages on its business service.”

July 9, 2020

On the web

WhatsApp Business, now with 50m MAUs, adds QR codes and catalog sharing


“The global COVID-19 health pandemic has raised the stakes for businesses when it comes to using digital channels to connect with customers, and today WhatsApp unveiled its latest tools to help businesses use its platform to do just that. The Facebook-owned messaging behemoth is expanding the reach and use of QR codes to let customers easily connect with businesses on the platform, providing them also with a series of stickers (pictured below) to kick off “we’re open for business” campaigns; and it’s made it possible for businesses to start sharing WhatsApp-based catalogs”

July 7, 2020

On the wires

ICICI Bank Crosses Milestone of 1 Million Users on WhatsApp Banking Platform

“ICICI Bank today announced that it has crossed a milestone of 1 million users on its WhatsApp banking platform. The Bank introduced banking services on WhatsApp three months ago to enable its retail customers to undertake a slew of banking requirements from their home at a time when they are advised to stay indoors in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Bank has received an encouraging response from its customers in such a short span and aims to double the number in next three months.”

June 30, 2020

On the web

Facebook, Cielo Ask Brazil’s Antitrust Watchdog to Reverse Decision on Payments Deal


“Facebook Inc and card acquirer Cielo SA have asked Brazil’s antitrust watchdog Cade to reverse the suspension of an agreement they struck paving the way for WhatsApp to roll out a new payments system, according to a document. Both companies argued that their agreement was not exclusive and allowed rival card acquirers to forge deals with the U.S. social media giant’s WhatsApp messaging system. They also said they did not operate in the same business and had merely entered a financial services agreement, saying that meant the partnership would not offer risks in terms of market concentration.”

June 24, 2020

On the web

Brazil Suspends WhatsApp’s New Payments System


“Brazil’s central bank effectively suspended a newly-launched system allowing users of Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp messaging service to send money via chats, ordering Visa and Mastercard to halt payments and transfers via the system. The central bank said in a statement that rolling out the service without previous analysis by the monetary authority could damage the Brazilian payments system in the areas of competition, efficiency and data privacy.”

April 29, 2020

On the web

WhatsApp eyes lending feature in India as Amazon rolls out Pay Later to tens of thousands of customers


WhatsApp, which began testing its mobile payments feature in India two years ago, could offer at least one more financial service to people in its biggest market. In a filing with the local regulator in India, the company has listed credit as one of the areas it will pursue in the country. The Facebook-owned service declared with the local regulator earlier this month providing credit or loans as one of the “main objects to be pursued by it in the country.” No other financial service is listed in the filing.”

July 20, 2018

On the web

Facebook Faces Delay To WhatsApp Payments In India


“India’s government is holding up Facebook Inc.’s plans for a nationwide launch of its WhatsApp payments service over concerns about how users’ data will be stored and other issues, according to people familiar with the matter. The country’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, or MEITY, has asked WhatsApp and its partner banks to supply more details about the payments system, said ministry officials, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. The ministry has also requested that the industry’s payments overseer, the National Payments Corporation of India, confirm that WhatsApp is fully compliant with its requirements, they said.”

June 28, 2018

On the web

WhatsApp Is Getting Set To Be Africa’s Biggest Payments And Ad Platform


“WhatsApp’s competitive advantage is in emerging markets, where its service almost always works, regardless of internet speed or available bandwidth. It’s the world’s No.1 messaging service, thanks to users from Latin America to Africa and most of Asia outside China. In these regions, there’s intense interest from local businesses that want to see WhatsApp commercialize—they want to be able to use the platform more efficiently to transact with their customers who pretty much live on WhatsApp.”

June 25, 2018

On the web

WhatsApp Uses FB Platform For Payments In India, Provides More Details In New Privacy Policy

The Economic Times

“In an update to its privacy policy, Whatsapp Payments which has courted controversy around the way it handles payments data in India, clarified that they have limited visibility on the Indian consumer’s banking details and strictly abided by the norms of the Reserve Bank of India and the government of India regarding handling of payments data.”

June 18, 2018

On the web

Almost 1 Million People ‘Testing’ WhatsApp Payments Service In India

The Economic Times

“The spokesperson added that WhatsApp is working closely with the Indian government, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and multiple banks, including payment service providers, to expand the feature to more people and support India’s digital economy. WhatsApp had received permission from NPCI to tie up with banks to facilitate financial transactions via Unified Payments Interface (UPI).”

February 16, 2018

On the web

WhatsApp to go ahead with ‘full feature’ money transfer service in India


“WhatsApp will launch a “full feature” inter-bank money transfer service in India, its biggest market, after a test involving a million users, National Payments Corp of India said. Friday’s statement marks the de facto official launch of WhatsApp’s new service as NPCI is the body set up by the central bank and lenders to oversee payment services.”

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