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Facebook may use Jio deal to quickly launch WhatsApp Pay, challenge Paytm, others

UPI will gain big if WhatsApp is allowed to take payments live.

April 22, 2020 / 11:45 AM IST

The Reliance Jio-Facebook deal can be the beginning of a new chapter in India’s digital payments journey, one that will throw fresh challenges to established players such as Paytm and PhonePe.

Facebook is working on payments through its instant messaging application WhatsApp Pay, which is in a testing stage. Now, with the muscle power and the local knowledge of Reliance, the two sides can hope to bring the payments product to fruition sooner.

“Through this deal what Facebook has bought is an insurance policy, with the support of Reliance it can deal with the regulatory environment in the country better and can hope to go live with WhatsApp Pay sooner,” said a top banker, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Facebook has bought a 9.9% stake in Reliance Jio for $ 5.7 billion (Rs 43,574) crore, valuing the telecom company at Rs 4.6 lakh crore of pre-money valuation.