Facebook’s WhatsApp To Bring Digital Payments To Over 100 Million Users In Indonesia

  • Indonesia is WhatsApp’s top-five markets globally with over 100 million users
  • WhatsApp is having a conversation with mobile payment firms and banks
  • Regulator approval might be needed

Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp is in talks with several Indonesian digital payment firms to offer their mobile transaction services, reported Reuters on August 20.

These firms include mobile payments firm DANA, Go-Jek, fintech startup OVO, Ant Financial, and Lippo Group. WhatsApp has also approached state-owned Bank Mandiri, that operates a digital wallet.

Due to tough licensing regulations, WhatsApp will only serve as a platform to support payments through local digital wallets.

The move came after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg announced earlier this year that it would roll out WhatsApp payments to “more countries.”

Bringing Digital Payments To Billions

This could become a template for the cross-platform messaging platform to adopt in other emerging markets to get around the regulations on foreign companies creating their own digital wallets.

Southeast Asia’s largest economy with 260 million people, Indonesia is WhatsApp’s top-five markets globally with more than 100 million users. The nation is estimated to see its e-commerce industry tripling to $100 billion by 2025.

Indonesia, however, also has some of the strictest digital payments regulations in the region.

Though originally planned to start at the end of 2019, the service is expected to be delayed by several months.

The sources told Reuters this could be because the company might not want to launch in Indonesia before India — WhatsApp’s biggest market by users — where it awaits regulatory approval.

WhatsApp might need approval from the regulator Bank Indonesia before proceeding as well.

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