Finally, WhatsApp seems to have launched its UPI feature for mass users. Over the past few days, the instant messaging app has been allowing users to send an invite to friends on iOS and Android powered phones. Entrackr has also got one such invite and further, we successfully invited over 20 people.
We also performed multiple transactions after following the invite link. For setting up the feature, users require to link their bank accounts and verified with standard One Time Password (OTP) sent to mobile number registered with the bank.
Importantly, unlike other UPI-enabled apps, WhatsApp is allowing transaction up to Rs 5,000 in a single transaction.
Users can also send money by scanning QR code generated through UPI-powered apps (for example BHIM). Entrackr also has transferred and received money using QR code via multiple accounts (see screenshots).
Besides invite-based access, WhatsApp users can also access UPI feature after updating the app. Multiple accounts have accessed the feature after updating the app. Currently, the app is throwing some bugs like being unable to link a bank account with WhatsApp UPI for a few account. Otherwise, it’s working seamlessly.
WhatsApp had opened its UPI feature for select users in February this year. However, the mass launch was delayed owing to alleged circumvention with regulations and WhatsApp data sharing arrangements with third parties and mother company Facebook.
Lately, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had raised concerns to NPCI seeking the details about the data storage policy of the company.
Over the past eight months, UPI has turned out to be a battleground for payment companies including PhonePe, Paytm, Google Tez and BHIM. MobiKwik and Freecharge recently joined the NPCI promoted digital payment ecosystem. Now, as WhatsApp also has joined the bandwagon, these companies are likely to feel the heat.
Given that WhatsApp has about 250 million users in India, it would be interesting to see how they gear to compete with the instant messaging behemoths.