Instant messaging app WhatsApp India, owned by Facebook, has advertised for someone to head its digital transactions.
It is the first time it has looked at moving into digital payment services globally, Reuters reports. India is WhatsApp’s biggest market with 200 million users.
Earlier, news website The Ken reported that WhatsApp was working to launch person-to-person payments in India in the next six months.
A job advertisement on WhatsApp‘s website says it is looking for a candidate with a technical and financial background who understands India‘s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and the BHIM payments app that enables money transfers and merchant payments using mobile numbers.
“India is an important country for WhatsApp, and we’re understanding how we can contribute more to the vision of Digital India,” says a WhatsApp spokesman, referring to a flagship government program that aims to boost the use of internet-based services in the nation.
“We’re exploring how we might work with companies that share this vision, and continuing to listen closely to feedback from our users,” the spokesman says.
Digital transactions in India have surged after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s shock ban of certain high-value banknotes in November that accounted for more than 80 per cent of the country’s currency in circulation at the time.
In February, WhatsApp‘s co-founder Brian Acton told local media the app was in early stages of investigating digital payments in India, and that he had spoken to the government about the matter.
Meanwhile, Swedish communications app Truecaller, which has a large user base in India, has launched a mobile payment service on India’s UPI payment platform.