Is 'WhatsApp Pay' on the way?

Users may be able to transfer money via the app before long

WhatsApp has added a host of new features to its offering over the past twelve months. From formatting messages to sending attachments, we can do more than ever before with the Facebook-owned app. 

It now appears that the instant-messaging app is set to enter the mobile payments game in India. This would place WhatsApp firmly against PayTM, which is a start-up backed by Alibaba.  

A job ad on WhatsApp's website said the firm was looking for a Digital Transactions Lead in India. The post laid out the requirements for the ideal candidate. They were looking for a "candidate with a technical and financial background — who understands India’s Unified Payments Interface and the BHIM payments app that enable money transfers and merchant payments using mobile numbers." 

It is thought that the service will launch in India within the next six months. 

“India is an important country for WhatsApp, and we’re understanding how we can contribute more to the vision of Digital India,” a WhatsApp spokesman said, referring to a flagship government programme that aims to boost the use of Internet-based services in the country.

Talking about this issue in February, the company's co-founder, Brian Acton, said he had talked to the Indian government about the matter. 

The number of digital transactions in India has surged over the last number of months. Indian prime minister Narendra Modi introduced a ban on high-value bank-notes back in November. This accounted for more than 80% of the country's currency in circulation at the time.