Entry of WhatsApp may disrupt Indian e-payments

Bangalore, March 17 2018: Facebook-owned messaging company WhatsApp has recently launched peer-to-peer digital payments beta service in India.
The entry of the messaging app, which has more than 200 million monthly active users, is expected to disrupt the unified payments interface (UPI)-based digital payments landscape in India, currently dominated by Paytm, says leading data and analytics company GlobalData. Reportedly, Facebook is working with top lenders, including State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank, to integrate the UPI-based payments solution.
Says Prarthna Tiga, Sr Tech Analyst ar GlobalData, “E-payments in India are already witnessing unprecedented growth since the government's announcement of demonetisation in late 2016. Now with the foray of WhatsApp, the country’s smaller and struggling e-payments companies fear a unique threat in an already crowded and competitive ecosystem.”
The Indian payments marketspace  has over 60 non-banking players such as Paytm, MobiKwik, Amazon Pay and Flipkart (PhonePe). While the messaging platform is the latest entrant, Google launched its payment app, Tez, in September 2016. It is creating fervour in the digital payments landscape, with transactions surpassing the likes of Axis Bank, one of the top digital players among banks.However, most e-wallet operators are not profitable in India yet. In fact, some who have been issued licenses by the Reserve Bank of India are still evaluating the situation before setting up operations.
Prarthna  concludes: “Creating a compelling case for people to use digital money is becoming absolutely necessary for smaller players, while bigger players are taking advantage of their wide user base.”