WhatsApp has approached several digital payments firms in Indonesia as it seeks to bolster its messaging service by integrating money transfer options.
Reuters reported that the Facebook-owned service was in talks with local payments firms, including Dana, Go-Jek and Ovo, that would allow WhatsApp users to transfer money within the app but via the existing services.
In Indonesia, overseas firms wishing to provide payments services must partner with local wallet providers for licensing reasons. Despite this requirement, any new service would still need to be approved by Indonesia’s central bank. The country is pushing for greater financial inclusion via mobile payments, and to this end recently created a standardised QR code system for easier usage.
In May, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that WhatsApp aimed to bring a payments offering to several markets this year. While none have yet launched, a beta trail has been underway in India since early 2018 that enables P2P transfers without requiring a local partner.
Facebook has been upbeat about the trial without disclosing an estimated release for the service. It has been speculated that regulatory issues have held up the launch – since the trial began, several rival services have launched in India.