File image of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Credit: Twitter

Facebook chief executive officer (CEO), Mark Zuckerberg today hailed India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system which he said will not only help India but even other countries across the globe when they follow India’s lead. “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,” Mark Zuckerberg said at the Facebook Fuel event where he was talking to India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani to discuss India’s digital growth.

Both Zuckerberg and Ambani were seen discussing India’s digital goals and how rapidly the country has been able to adapt to the digital age. The Facebook chief said that the launch of WhatsApp pay was possible in India because of the UPI system that is made in India. The UPI system enables anyone to instantly accept payments across different applications. “I think we are working with 140 banks or it’s supported by 140 banks. India is the first country in the world to do anything like this. So, we’re grateful to be able to support this kind of innovation and to help to work, to create more prosperity, and help achieve a more Digital India,” he added.

Along with Mukesh Amabani, Mark Zuckerberg discussed the growth potential that India has in the digital age and how the two technology giants — Jio Platforms and Facebook — could help in reaching that goal. “I firmly believe that technology, with all the digitisation steps that India has taken will democratise wealth and value creation for individuals and small businesses,” said Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani. He further added that Jio has hundreds of millions of subscribers and so does Facebook WhatsApp. “So what does this mean? 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,” he said.

Mark Zuckerberg lauded India’s digital presence at the Facebook Fuel event saying that the technology giant now actually tests its products and new features in India before rolling them out globally. “Prime Minister Modi’s Digital India Vision has opened up opportunities for the industry to partner with the government to accelerate growth and development through technology. And India is building local capabilities and tech capacity, to power innovative new business models and provide Indian citizens access to digital and financial inclusion,” he said.



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