With Jio, WhatsApp Pay to empower millions of Indians: Zuckerberg

New Delhi:  Reiterating his commitment to launch WhatsApp Pay for over 400 million users of the messaging platform in India, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the Reliance Jio partnership is a huge opportunity to enable small businesses and individuals in the country to buy and sell things through WhatsApp.

Talking to analysts during an earnings call on Thursday, Zuckerberg said that a lot of people use WhatsApp, especially in India.

“We want to enable that. That starts with enabling payments. A big part of the partnership that we have with Jio will be to wire up and get thousands of small businesses across India on-boarded onto WhatsApp, to do commerce there,” the Facebook CEO emphasized.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been testing its payments platform in India for quite some time now but has not been successful in launching it owing to regulatory hurdles.

Reliance Industries (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani said this month that the new commerce platform JioMart and Whatsapp will be working closely to create growth opportunities for millions of Indian small merchants and kirana shops.

“Over 400 million WhatsApp users in India bring unique value to our partnership,” Ambani said at the company’s first annual general meeting.

Zuckerberg said that they are really excited about the opportunity in India.

“Once we prove that out with Jio in India, we’re planning on expanding it to more folks in India and to other countries as well. But, there’s no doubt that India is a huge opportunity,” he told the analysts.

According to a latest Goldman Sachs report, the recent RIL and Facebook partnership can potentially increase the monetization levels of India internet as consumers in the relatively higher income bands (Urban Mass and Urban Middle) are monetized through transactions – redirecting traffic from social media to e-commerce, O2O, financial services.

“We believe the recent Reliance Industries (RIL) and Facebook partnership could increase monetization levels of India internet, and garner 25% of all internet Gross Transaction Value (GTV) by FY25,” Goldman Sachs said.

“With a user base of 400 million-plus in India, and three out of the top five apps in the country (in terms of Daily Active Users and time spent), we believe Facebook, along with its partner RIL, can bring more transacting users (100 million currently) into the fold, especially in e-commerce, the largest internet category,” the report mentioned.

In India, there are more than 15 million monthly WhatsApp Business app users.

In April, Facebook announced a $5.7 billion, or Rs 43,574 crore, investment in Jio Platforms.

“It is the largest country by the size of our community that we’re serving already. And it should be one of the fastest-growing business opportunities as well to help businesses grow there, and we’re very excited about that,” Zuckerberg said during the earnings call.

(IANS)

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