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WhatsApp plans to expand banking services into rural India

The development will see new partnerships between WhatsApp and banks

WhatsApp is looking to carry out a new development in India, media reports said. The Mark Zuckerburg- owned company is planning to reach more people in the rural parts of the country through banking services, especially for lower income households. 

Abhijit Bose, WhatsApp’s India head, told the media, “Our collective aim over the next two to three years should be to help low-wage workers and the unorganised, informal economy easily accesses three products – insurance, micro-credit and pensions.”

For the development, the company will partner with different banks across the country. The text messaging app comprising 400 million users in the second largest populated nations in the world, has already partnered with banks such as ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank. These banks are now using WhatsApp to communicate to their customers. 

In order to cater financial services such as insurance and pensions, the company is aiming to expand its pilot projects with financial institutions and other partners. 

In addition to partnerships with banks, it is reported that WhatsApp has started its own payments service in the country but has only limited users because of regulatory issues such as data localisation with GOI (Government of India). The payment service is expected for a fully-fledged launch once the company gets a clean sheet on the matter from the GOI. 

Furthermore, the company has injected $5.7 billion investment in Reliance Industries’ digital arm for new developments. 

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