After facing several hiccups in the implementation of its payments service, WhatsApp on Wednesday appointed Abhijit Bose, co-founder of digital payments platform Ezetap, as its India head.

Bose, who founded Ezetap in 2012, will build WhatsApp's first full country team outside of California. He will be based in Gurugram, the company said in a statement.

“WhatsApp is special and can be a major partner for financial inclusion and economic growth in India,” Bose said in a statement.

In September, Facebook appointed Ajit Mohan as the new chief of the company’s Indian operations, almost a year after the departure of former India head Umang Bedi. The Menlo Park, California-based company has been trying to launch  WhatsApp Pay in India, but it has faced several regulatory hurdles.

The service was first launched in beta mode in February this year, and was supposed to be rolled out in a few months.

In April, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in a notification mandated that data had to be saved to local servers if a company wanted to launch a payments service in India. Last month, before the central bank’s deadline,  WhatsApp said that it had built a system to store payments-related data in India.

However, media reports suggest that the National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI) has said that WhatsApp will only be mirroring the data in India with copies in other places as well. This, according to the NCPI, is not enough for a full-scale roll-out of the service.

Besides working with regulators to iron out the issues over WhatsApp Pay, the India chief also has the responsibility to curb the menace of fake news. The company is under immense pressure from the government to find ways to stop fake news, which has been blamed for inciting mob lynching incidents across the country. WhatsApp has taken some steps like limiting the number WhatsApp forwards, but the crucial few months before the general elections of 2019 will be critical for the company.

“WhatsApp is deeply committed to India and we are excited to keep building products that help people connect and support India's fast-growing digital economy. As a successful entrepreneur himself, Abhijit knows what it takes to build meaningful partnerships that can serve businesses across India,” Matt Idema, chief operating officer of WhatsApp, said.

A graduate of Harvard Business School and Cornell University, Bose will join Whatsapp in early 2019.

“It's not only how so many families stay in touch, but increasingly how businesses are engaging with their customers. WhatsApp can positively impact the lives of hundreds of millions of Indians, allowing them to actively engage and benefit from the new digital economy,” Bose said.

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