WhatsApp seems to be cruising like its morning messages threads. Soon after launching its Business app in many countries including India, the Facebook-owned instant messenger platform is reportedly said to be launched in-app Unified Payments Interface (UPI) feature.
The instant messenger with worldwide popularity has been trying to enter the payment space for about 8-10 months. Currently, UPI feature integration is available via WhatsApp beta release channel only to select testers.
This peer-to-peer payment feature is also said to be available on WhatsApp version 2.18.21 for iOS, and version 2.18.41 for Android.
To use the feature, users need to open the attachment option, where a payment option appears alongside other options like documents, gallery, audio, location, and contact reports GizmoTimes.
Earlier in 2017, WhatsApp had got the regulatory nod from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to setup UPI-enabled payment system.
For payment integration, WhatsApp has already partnered with banks including State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and Axis Bank. The newly launched beta version shows all leading banks who allows UPI to send and receive money.
Before sending money users need to identify themselves with the personal number while receivers will be notified just like they receive a contact or location. Importantly, it will have the option to accept or reject the request (much like Paytm).
When WhatsApp UPI integration goes live in a full-fledged manner, it will become one of the easiest ways to send and receive money via the freeware platform, who recently crossed 1.5 billion monthly active users mark.
Additionally, users have a freedom to use in-app facility rather than downloading any standalone app for UPI.
Meanwhile, there is no fresh data on monthly active users of WhatsApp in India, but estimations say that it might have crossed 250 million MAU’s mark (As of February 2017, WhatsApp MAU’s stand at 200 million).
With such a massive user base, it doesn’t want to miss the UPI bandwagon, which was launched in April 2016.
UPI has seen steep rise since its launch. However, the January month faces a mere 4.2 per cent growth in transactions value. The newly launched WhatsApp Business app and much-awaited payment feature will indeed add more values in UPI transaction if the massive users find them friendly.
In India, UPI is available on government-run BHIM, Paytm, Flipkart’s Phonepe and global players including PayU and Google’s Tez, among others.