WhatsApp Pay India head Manesh Mahatme quits

Manesh Mahatme, director and head of WhatsApp Pay in India, quit the company earlier this month after almost an 18-month stint with the Meta-owned messaging app.

Mahatme, who was earlier director and board member of Amazon Pay India, was hired by WhatsApp to head its payments vertical in April 2021. As director of WhatsApp Pay, he focussed on enhancing the payments experience for users and scaling the service.

He is expected to rejoin his former employer Amazon India in a strategic role, said a person aware of the discussions, who did not wish to be named.

A Meta spokesperson confirmed to ET that Mahatme had left WhatsApp Pay.

“Manesh has played an important role in expanding the access to ‘payments on WhatsApp’ in India, and we wish him every success for his future endeavours. Payments on WhatsApp is a priority for Meta and we will continue to innovate and drive momentum as part of our broader efforts to bring the next 500 million Indians into the digital payments ecosystem,” the spokesperson said.

In November 2020, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which operates the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), gave WhatsApp approval to go live on the platform in a phased manner, with a maximum of 20 million customers to start with.

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NPCI doubled this limit to 40 million by the end of 2021, and then to 100 million by April 2022.

Despite the increase, WhatsApp Pay’s share of the total number of UPI transactions remains abysmal. It had a share of less than 1% of the overall UPI market in August, with only 6.72 million transactions, despite launching successive cashback campaigns in April and June, which resulted in a small increase in numbers. The total number of UPI transactions in August stood at 6.5 billion.

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