WhatsApp is in talks to Indonesian digital payment firms to offer their mobile transactions services.
This comes after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced his company’s intentions to introduce mobile payment services to some countries.
This move by WhatsApp has been informed by the dynamism and growth of Indonesia in the e-commerce sector.
If the talks with the Indonesian multiple payment firms succeed, Indonesia will become the second country in the world after India, where WhatsApp introduces such services.
According to sources, WhatsApp will only serve as a platform in Indonesia, supporting payments via local digital wallets due to tough licensing regulations.
If WhatsApp’s payment service is adopted in Indonesia, the Indonesian model will serve as a template for WhatsApp to use for other emerging markets in the future.
Of the Indonesian population of 260 million people, about 38 percent are WhatsApp users, which makes the country one of the top five WhatsApp markets globally, and South Asia’s largest economy.
While Indonesia’s e-commerce industry is expected to increase to 100 billion dollars by the year 2025, the country is also known for its strict regulations on digital payments.
The Indonesian financial partners with which WhatsApp is in talks include ride hailer Go-Jek, mobile payments firm DANA, and fintech startup OVO, which is owned by Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group.
Sources say that WhatsApp deal with the three financial firms is expected to be finalized shortly.
Some sources, however, said that as much as the payment service was set to be functional by the end of 2019, the service will have to be delayed until India launches its own.
Also, before the service can be launched in Indonesia, WhatsApp will have to get approval from regulator Bank Indonesia.