WhatsApp is pretty big in India. How big? Let’s say they have over 200 million users sign up on their platform. 200 million is a lot of people!
When you have 200 million people on your service, the next thing a business might want to do is to monetize.
Well, that’s exactly what WhatsApp is doing. WhatsApp is planning to launch a digital payments service in India in the coming months. How the service will work is not yet clear. But there is huge potential for this service to work. Although India is largely a cash based society, mobile payments is steadily growing in the country. People already advertise services in India and informally sell their items on WhatsApp.
If the new WhatsApp digital payment services works in India, there’s no reason why the service can’t work in the African market.
WhatsApp is basically the default messaging app in Ghana and other countries on the continent. I already know of individuals selling services and companies using WhatsApp as a helpline for customer service.
Addition of a payment service can only help WhatsApp grow bigger. But it would be entering the market with some competition on the ground with the likes of Slydepay and ExpressPay. Facebook Messenger already started a money transfers but that doesn’t seem to have taken off.
If you gave me the option to easily send money to one of my contacts or pay for something someone is selling through WhatsApp, I would be pretty cool and I’m more likely to use that since I have most of my contacts on that app.
There’s no reason mobile money or some other money transfer integration can’t work. Mobile Money is big on the African continent. In Kenya, it’s almost the default way of paying. In Ghana, everybody seems to be jumping on the mobile money bandwagon.
We’ll have to wait and see what the WhatsApp digital payment service in India looks like. But there’s no reason why a service like that can’t be easily replicated in Ghana.