Social networking giant Facebook is holding its Facebook Fuel for India event. The two-day event saw fireside chat between Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg and Reliance India chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani. Talking about the importance of India during the chat, Zuckerberg said, “What happens in India is important for the whole world. India’s building local capabilities and tech capacity to power innovative new business models and provide the citizens access to digital financial inclusion. So, decisions that are made here shape the global discussion about how technology can drive more economic opportunity and better outcomes for people.”
Recently, Facebook-owned WhatsApp received approval for rolling out its payments services, WhatsApp Pay, in India from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). WhatsApp started testing the UPI-based payments services in India in 2018 with one million users.
“We just launched WhatsApp payments in India last month — now you can send money to your friends and family through WhatsApp, as easily as sending a message. That was possible because of the UPI system that has been built in India,” Zuckerberg said during a fireside chat with Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani.
In April, Facebook announced an investment of $5.7 billion (Rs 43,574 crore) in Jio Platforms. ““One of the big opportunities I see with the partnership with Jio Platforms, is the role that we can play together in supporting the millions of small businesses in India – especially now with the impact that Covid is having. It is accelerating the move for a lot of businesses from physical storefronts to digital,” Zuckerberg said on the partnership.
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He added that the partnership between Jio and Facebook will “actually demonstrate that it is great for India, Indians, and small Indian businesses”.
Ambani said that technology, with all the digitisation steps that India has taken, will democratise wealth and value creation for individuals and small businesses.
Noting that WhatsApp and Jio have hundreds of millions of subscribers in India, Ambani said Jio Mart retail service aspires to “serve tens of millions of small shopkeepers in India, who are the bedrock of employment”.
“This means Jio brings digital connectivity, WhatsApp now with WhatsApp Pay brings digital interactivity, and the ability to move to close transactions and create value, and Jio Mart brings the unmatched online and offline retail opportunity, that gives our small shops which exist in villages and small towns in India, a chance to digitise and be at par with anybody else in the world,” he added.