Facebook owned messaging service WhatsApp is in talks with various digital payment services and a state owned bank in Indonesia to propose its offerings in the country. The decision is considered to be a way to tap into Indonesia’s fast growing e-commerce sector.
Indonesia would become the second country globally to receive the service from WhatsApp, if the decision is implemented. WhatsApp’s digital services had earlier been offered to India, its biggest market by users. The deal is currently under consideration and review.
WhatsApp has offered to serve as a platform in Indonesia supporting payments via local digital wallets due to the tough licensing rules in the country, whereas in India it is offering direct peer to peer payment services.
The template used in Indonesia can serve as reference to the company to start in other regions where they have similar licensing rules and regulations.
Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, has around 100 million WhatsApp users, making it one of the top five markets for WhatsApp globally.
WhatsaApp is currently conducting preliminary discussions with Go-Jek, a transportation booking service, mobile payments provider DANA, a fintech startup OVO and state owned bank Mandiri regarding the launch of its digital services.
A Facebook spokesperson said, “WhatsApp is in conversations with financial partners in Indonesia about payments, however the discussions are in early stages and we do not have anything further to share at this stage.”
The discussions are expected to be finalised by the end of the year. Although Whatsapp’s digitalservice was expected to start by 2019, it got delayed owing to the company’s decision to launch first in India. With that, the launch is expected to happen by the end of 2020.