Popular messaging application Whatsapp has reportedly initiated discussions with several notable Indonesian tech companies with an eye to creating its own digital payment platform in one of the world’s largest economies.
In an article by Coin Insider citing Reuters, it was said that sources with knowledge of the matter made known that Whatsapp, a social messaging application owned and operated by Facebook, had begun talks with major names in Indonesia’s digital payment industry with the intention of entering the country’s e-commerce sector.
Sources that spoke to Reuters revealed that Whatsapp was speaking to such high profile Indonesian businesses as ride-hailing service Go-Jek, mobile payment facilitator DANA, backed by China’s Ant Financial, and Lippo-Group, a startup owned by OVO.
While sources indicated the talks were close to reaching deals, a Facebook spokesperson who purportedly confirmed the news clarified that discussions were only in their early stages. The spokesperson also said no further details could yet be provided, but noted that the company was “looking to bring digital payments to more countries,” adding that “Whatsapp is in conversations with financial partners in Indonesia about payments”.
The Coin Insider article noted that even if deals were to conclude soon, Indonesian laws would limit digital payment services to within the country and that any agreements would have to receive approval from Bank Indonesia.
Sources were further cited as saying that Whatsapp plans to establish its Indian platform before launching payment services in Indonesia. The condition has reportedly made it so any introduction of a Whatsapp digital payment platform could not take place within this year.
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