Sunday , January 19, 2020

Facebook’s WhatsApp Negotiates to Support E-Commerce Payments in Indonesia

Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp peer-to-peer payments service is reportedly working to enter the second international market in which it would support a broader array of payments, including e-commerce. The company is in talks with digital-wallet providers in Indonesia to handle transactions through those services, according to a report Tuesday by Reuters.

The move is distinct from WhatsApp’s plans for India, which involve direct provision of e-commerce payments. That initiative has been delayed as the company negotiates local data-storage regulations. Direct support in Indonesia would likewise require negotiation over various licensing rules, according to the Reuters report.

Indonesia represents an enormous opportunity for WhatsApp. The service already claims more than 100 million users there for P2P payments, ranking the country among WhatsApp’s five largest markets. Now, the service is talking to a broad array of wallet services, including ride-share provider Go-Jek and mobile-payments platform Dana, and has started talks with Bank Mandiri, a state-owned financial institution that markets a digital wallet, Reuters reported, citing sources “familiar with the matter.”

Facebook’s ambitions in payments have come to the fore in other ways in recent months. This spring, it announced it is spearheading an initiative to create a digital currency called Libra. Some 27 other companies are also involved in the effort, including Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc.

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