Facebook owned WhatsApp announced WhatsApp Pay’s availability in India from Friday.
WhatsApp in its blog has mentioned that it wants to make money transferring as easy as sending messages on the app. India currently has many payment apps including Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay among others.
Announcing the new feature, WhatsApp said in a blog, “Starting today, people across India will be able to send money through WhatsApp. This secure payment experience makes transferring money just as easy as sending a message. People can safely send money to a family member or share the cost of goods from a distance without having to exchange cash in person or going to a local bank.
WhatsApp has designed its payments feature in partnership with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) using the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), an India-first, a real-time payment system that enables transactions with over 160 supported banks.
WhatsApp has partnered with five leading banks in India including ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank. “To send money on WhatsApp in India, it’s necessary to have a bank account and debit card in India. WhatsApp sends instructions to banks, also known as payment service providers, that initiate the transfer of money via UPI between sender and receiver bank accounts,” WhatsApp said. People can also send money through WhatsApp to anyone who is using an app that supports UPI.
“In the long run, we believe the combination of WhatsApp and UPI’s unique architecture can help local organizations address some of the key challenges of our time, including increasing rural participation in the digital economy and delivering financial services to those who have never had access before,” WhatsApp blog reads.
In a bid to enhance security and privacy on the app, WhatsApp will make users enter UPI Pin for every payment. The company has said that “payments is designed with a strong set of security and privacy principles”. WhatsApp Payments is available for all iOS and Android users. To get the new feature, users are required to update their apps.