A WhatsApp move into digital payments in India, its biggest market that is home to 200 million of its billion plus global users, would replicate similar moves by messaging apps like Tencent Holdings Ltd's WeChat in China.
WhatsApp is working to launch person-to-person payments in India in the next six months, news website The Ken reported earlier on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.
A job advertisement on WhatsApp's website said it was looking for a candidate with a technical and financial background - who understands the country's Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and the BHIM payments app that enable money transfers and merchant payments using mobile numbers - to be its digital transactions lead for the country.
"India is an important country for WhatsApp, and we're understanding how we can contribute more to the vision of Digital India," a WhatsApp spokesman said, referring to the 'Digital India' flagship government programme that aims to boost the use of Internet-based services in the country.
Digital transactions in India have surged after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's sudden ban of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in November that accounted for more than 80 percent of the country's currency in circulation at the time.
Just last week, Swedish communications app Truecaller, which has a large user base in India, started a mobile payment service in the country based on the UPI platform.
(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Euan Rocha and Himani Sarkar)
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