WhatsApp To Launch Digital Payments in Indonesia

Facebook’s messaging service, WhatsApp, is pursuing leads to integrate a digital payment service onto its platform for Indonesian users. Whatsapp is looking forward to tapping into the nation’s fast e-commerce industry. Reuters reported that the instant messaging behemoth is purportedly in talks with several digital payment firms as well as with a state-owned bank.

WhatsApp is in advanced talks with several digital payments firms including ride hailer Go-Jek, mobile payments firm DANA, backed by China’s Ant Financial, and fintech startup OVO, which is owned by Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group and is also backed by ride-hailing company Grab. WhatsApp has also approached state-owned Bank Mandiri, which operates a digital wallet.

Yet-to-be named sources have disclosed that talks with these firms will yield positive results very soon.

WhatsApp will be supporting payments via digital wallets in Indonesia. The success of this pilot project may become a template for by-passing local regulations and restrictions on foreign digital wallets.

Irrespective of the outcome of the discussions, sources have said that the service may not launch until 2020. This is because Whatsapp wants to first launch the service in India and is still waiting on regulatory approval from Indian authorities.