WhatsApp Pay India Head Manesh Mahatme Quits, May Return To Previous Employer Amazon

WhatsApp Pay India Head Manesh Mahatme Quits, May Return To Previous Employer Amazon

WhatsApp Pay’s India head Manesh Mahatme has resigned and he is likely to return to his previous employer, Amazon, after a stint of 18 months at Meta-owned WhatsApp, said a report by Moneycontrol on Thursday. Mahatme had joined WhatsApp Pay in April 2021 and left in September 2022, according to his LinkedIn profile.

“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’ onto the digital payments ecosystem,” a Meta spokesperson told ABP Live in a statement.

Before joining WhatsApp, Mahatme was a director and board member of Amazon Pay India for nearly seven years, where he led a team of senior product, engineering, business development, and sales leaders in developing the company’s payment experience both on and off Amazon, the report added.

Mahatme’s departure from the company comes after WhatsApp Pay failed to click in the country and compete with other digital payment platforms. Since its inception in the country, the UPI-based payment service from WhatsApp, the most popular messaging platform in the world, has been hampered by restrictions on its user base.

WhatsApp Pay was launched in India with restrictions — the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) granted WhatsApp approval in November 2020 to go live on UPI in a graded manner, with a cap of 20 million users to start off with. The number was later increased to 40 million. NPCI later approved WhatsApp to add another 60 million users on UPI, taking the total base to 100 million.

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Meta-owned WhatsApp has been running its UPI-based payment system, WhatsApp Pay in beta mode since 2018 in India, with 1 million users. Among other roadblocks to the platform were Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) data localisation norms for payment providers in the country. In an affidavit filed by RBI, Supreme Court in 2020, NPCI had told the RBI that it was satisfied with WhatsApp’s compliance with the regulator’s data storage rules and was good to go live on the UPI platform.