WhatsApp is set to launch its P2P payments system later this year, beginning in India, before rolling out to its 1.5 billion users globally.The Facebook-owned messaging system has been testing the system in India for the past year, where the app has 400 million users.
The idea behind WhatsApp Pay is to make transferring cash as easy as sending a message.
“It’s a regulatory approval question in India at this point,” Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said during the company’s earnings conference yesterday. “We’re also working beyond India in a number of other countries and hope to have this rolled out to a large percent of the people who use WhatsApp within the next year.”
In May, Facebook let slip that it had chosen London as the base for a new team dedicated to bringing payments to European users of the popular messaging service.
Speaking at the firm’s developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg stated: “Payments is one of the areas where we have an opportunity to make it a lot easier. I believe it should be as easy to send money to someone as it is to send a photo.”
The move deepens Facebook’s interest in the payments industry, coming in the wake of the reveal of the social media giant’s planned cryptocurrency Libra.