WhatsApp pointed Mahesh Mahatme, a former Amazon executive as the new head of WhatsApp payments. Mahatme prime focus will be on scaling the service offering, payment experience for users, and scaling and contributing towards WhatsApp’s vision of financial and digital inclusion in India.
In 2018, WhatsApp has started testing its UPI-bassed payments service in India, which allows the users to utilize the messaging platform to send and receive money. This testing was limited t about only a million users as it waited for regulatory approvals to come in. Later in November 2020, WhatsApp received acceptance from the National Payments Corporation of India.
(NPCI) to start its payments service in the country in a graded manner and start with a maximum registered user base of 20 million in UPI.
In a statement released by Abhijit Bose, Head of Whatsapp in India said, “WhatsApp has an immense potential to digitally empower people across segments and help to accelerate the Government of India’s efforts to drive financial inclusion through digital payments and UPI. And as per the government’s data, India has 53 crores WhatsApp users. With an increase in participation, and India being its biggest market, WhatsApp will have to compete with Google Pay, Amazon Pay, PhonePe, and Paytm.
Before WhatsApp, Mahatme has had 17 years of experience in digital financial services and payments across Citibank, Airtel Money, and Amazon. He was the Director and Board member of Amazon Pay India for seven years and also he was in charge of the product, growth teams, and engineering, a statement from WhatsApp said.
Bose further added, “We are excited to have Manesh join our WhatsApp India team. Manesh has been one of the key innovators driving the growth of digital payments in India over the last decade, and his experience will help us maximize the impact and scale of payments on WhatsApp,”
To which Mahatme replied, “I am super excited to be a part of this growth story,”
Mahatme also said Payments on WhatsApp is uniquely placed to be a significant partner in the country’s growth agenda by making digital payments accessible to users across the length and breadth of India.