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WhatsApp in talks to launch mobile payments service in Indonesia: report

WhatsApp is in talks with multiple Indonesian digital payments firms to launch their services in Indonesia, reports Reuters. WhatsApp wouldn’t be offering peer-to-peer payments as in its Indian pilot but will serve as a platform supporting payments via local digital wallets, this is given tight regulations in the country.

WhatsApp is talks in cab aggregator Go-Jek, mobile payments firm DANA, fintech company OVO. It has also approached state-owned Bank Mandiri, which operates a digital wallet. Indonesia reportedly is one of the top five markets for WhatsApp with over 100 million users.

According to the report, WhatsApp’s service was originally supposed to launch at the end of 2019, but this may be delayed by several months, as WhatsApp wouldn’t want to launch in Indonesia before India.

Payments should be as easy as sending photos: Zuckerberg in May

At Facebook’s annual developers conference in May 2019, Mark Zuckerberg had said that Facebook is working on rolling out payments in a number of countries later in the year – with confirmations of payments coming to Brazil, Mexico, and UK.

He had said that “sending money should be as easy as sending a photo. WhatsApp is already testing this with a million people in India and the feedback so far has been great.” “Payments and private commerce will be a focus and more news on it will be coming in the next few years,” Zuckerberg had said.

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It’s worth noting that WhatsApp’s beta test for payments in India has been underway for over a year now; earlier plans to launch within a month of the beta test fell through after the company encountered regulatory hurdles surrounding local data storage.

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