WhatsApp Considering Mobile Payments Launch in Indonesia

September 2019

WhatsApp, Facebook Inc’s messaging services is reportedly in advanced talks with several Indonesian digital payment providers in a move to enter the country’s quickly expanding e-commerce sector. Companies in talks include Go-Jek, mobile payments firm DANA and OVO, a fintech startup owned by the Indonesian Lippo Group, as well as Bank Mandiri (BMRI.JK), a state-owned bank which operates a digital wallet. This would make Indonesia the second country where WhatsApp introduces its payment services. It is currently awaiting regulatory approval for its payment services in its biggest market, India. A beta version of the payments offering was introduced in India for a million users in early 2018. However, the actual launch has been delayed partly due to the need to show compliance with local data storage requirements. 

In contrast to India, where the company aims to provide direct peer-to-peer payment solutions, WhatsApp will solely serve as a platform supporting payments through digital wallets in Indonesia – as the country is subject to stringent licensing regulations.

With over 100 million users, Indonesia is one of the largest markets for the messaging service. Therefore, if successful the Indonesian model could be adopted in other emerging markets, to circumvent regulations on foreign companies creating their own digital wallets.

(Source: Coconuts.co; Reuters)


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