After around two years of testing, WhatsApp has finally cleared regulatory hurdles in getting approval for launching its payment service in India. This service is based on Unified Payment Interface (UPI), defined by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). This method is also used by popular apps like Google Pay, and Paytm. As of now, WhatsApp is partnering with five banks in the country to facilitate payments. These include ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank.
“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,” the Facebook-owned company wrote in a blog post published on Friday. “This secure payments experience makes transferring money just as easy as sending a message,” it added.
The WhatsApp payment service is being rolled out in ten Indian regional languages. “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,” says the company.
For each payment on WhatsApp, you will be required to enter your UPI PIN. With this update, WhatsApp joins rivals like Google Pay, Walmart’s PhonePe, and India’s Paytm in the crowded playing field. The feature is now available for people on the latest version of the iPhone and Android app. However, it is still unclear if WhatsApp plans to expand this feature to global users.