WhatsApp wins approval to increase Indian payments to 100 mn users

Meta Platforms’ WhatsApp has received regulatory approval to more double the number of users of its payments service in India to 100 million, Reuters news report said.
WhatsApp customersWhatsApp has earlier demanded that National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) should not keep any cap on users of its digital payments service in India.

The NPCI told WhatsApp on Wednesday it can increase the number of users to 100 million from 40 million currently. The NPCI confirmed the development in a statement to Reuters.

The new cap could still limit WhatsApp’s growth prospects given it has more than 500 million users in India.

WhatsApp has told the NPCI it wants to operate without a cap, but privately the NPCI is of the view that allowing all its users to access the payments service – integrated with the app and allowing contacts to send each other funds – could strain the country’s financial infrastructure.

The NPCI gave WhatsApp approval to launch the payments service in 2020 after the company spent years trying to comply with Indian regulations, including data storage norms that require all payments-related data to be stored locally.

It started with 20 million users and the cap was increased to 40 million in November last year.

WhatsApp competes with Alphabet’s Google Pay, SoftBank- and Ant Group-backed Paytm and Walmart’s PhonePe in India’s crowded digital market.