400mn Indians now on WhatsApp, bad news for Paytm

New Delhi, July 26: Facebook-owned WhatsApp which is planning to launch its peer-to-peer, UPI-based Pay service in India later this year has nearly 400 million users in the country — a bad news for digital payments leader Paytm which last reported 230 million users.

“With a billion mobiles, lowest data costs, highest mobile data consumption, average age of 29 and almost 400 million users, the future of WhatsApp is obviously in India,” tweeted Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.

WhatsApp did not dispute the figure cited by the Niti Aayog CEO, suggesting that the instant messaging platform has added 200 million users in the country in the past two years.

WhasApp had 200 million active users in India in 2017.

The company launched a test run of its payments service with one million users in the country last year which got stuck in the digital payments framework guidelines but now, the service is in the final stages.

“To boost digital inclusion in India, we can launch the (Pay) service across the country later this year after meeting regulations,” Cathcart told the audience at an event on Thursday.

The country’s digital payments industry is estimated to hit $1 trillion by 2023.

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