WhatsApp India wants a $400-million war chest for payments. Will it be enough?

WhatsApp India wants a $400-million war chest for payments. Will it be enough?

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Pratik Bhakta

149 reads
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Pratik Bhakta

149 reads

After waiting for years, WhatsApp Payments has all the regulatory clearances it needs. Its business strategy is also taking shape. What remains is to draw consumers into its fold. With a large cash pile, WhatsApp plans to do just that. But will burning marketing dollars be enough?

June 30, 2022

10 MINS READ

WhatsApp Payments wants to finally get down to business. 

After facing years of delays from the regulator and slow movement on the product side, the Meta-backed messaging app is finally getting its payments strategy in place.

And to drive adoption, the company is understood to be readying a massive war chest as well. After all, WhatsApp India will have to slug it out with heavily funded peers such as Walmart-backed PhonePe, big tech rival Alphabet’s Google Pay and SoftBank-backed Paytm.

To be sure, WhatsApp’s payments bet in India is a curious one. While the odds appear to be stacked against it — because of late entry into the space, a messaging-focused use case and regulatory concerns — Sensor Tower data show that it has 450 million-plus active users. This is the massive pool from which it can draw users for its payments service. In comparison, PhonePe has an active base of 41 million, Google Pay 39 million and Paytm 17 million.

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