Payments, small businesses, customer experience are key focus areas for WhatsApp India

A 3D printed Whatsapp logo is placed on the keyboard in this illustration taken April 12, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Files

The recently launched UPI payments feature on WhatsApp is now active across India in partnership with State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, and Axis Bank, announced Abhijit Bose, chief executive, WhatsApp India on day two of Facebook’s Fuel for India 2020 virtual event.

“Our aim was to make sending money to family and friends as easy and as secure as sending a message or attaching a photo. I am delighted to share with you that WhatsApp Pay is now live across the country through our bank partners State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis bank,” Bose said.

WhatsApp Pay was rolled out in November, but was not available to all. It was one of the reasons why only over 3 lakh UPI transactions, as per NPCI, were carried out on it during the month.

Bose said people who are new to digital payments need a simple, secure and trusted way to get on board and complete the last and important leg of any transaction. WhatsApp Pay can be that bridge for many of our users. “I’m really excited about the prospects of WhatsApp Pay,” he added.

Improving customer experience of engaging with businesses on WhatsApp will be the key focus area for the company as it hopes to rope more businesses on its business app.

The company will continue to invest in the business API (application programming interface), offering features and flexibility for the ecosystem in India to build highly customised customer experiences. “We want to make it easier for consumers to connect with and buy from their favourite businesses both large and small over our platform,” said Bose.

Early this month, WhatsApp added a shopping cart feature for businesses. It will let customers add multiple items to their cart and send them all as a single order in a message. Features such as this “will help these small business owners grow their businesses,” added Bose.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp will continue to bring new features and tools to the WhatsApp Business app, designed especially to help small businesses and kirana stores grow and scale.

Bose highlighted that the company will continue to deepen investments in India by developing and scaling social impact programs, in the aftermath of covid-19. “WhatsApp has proactively been working on several pilots to help ensure that every adult has access to the most basic critical financial and livelihood services through their mobile device. By the end of this year, we expect that people will be able to buy affordable sachet sized health insurance through WhatsApp” said Bose.

WhatsApp has over 400 million active users while the business app has 15 million users in the country.

This article was first published on livemint.com

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.