WhatsApp has reportedly started testing out its UPI-based payments feature in India. The new feature, available for select WhatsApp beta users on iOS and Android, enables users to send and receive money using the Indian government’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) standard. This feature is said to be available on WhatsApp version 2.18.21 for iOS, and version 2.18.41 for Android. Considering the large user base of the messaging app in India, the payments platform’s integration may give.
The WhatsApp Payments feature, first spotted by GizmoTimes, is presently available to select users of the beta app in India. The feature can apparently be accessed in a chat window through the Attachments menu. The option is said to be available alongside other options such as Gallery, Video, Documents etc. Clicking on Payments will open a disclaimer window, followed by a list of banks to choose from.
You can then select your preferred bank account to connect with UPI. Notably, you will be asked to create an authentication pin if you haven’t yet used the UPI payments platform. Additionally, you will have to create a UPI account (if you don’t have one previously) through the UPI app or your respective bank’s website/ app.
WhatsApp has been known to be considering a UPI-based payments platform since July 2017. The feature was also spotted on an Android beta version back in August last year. Ever since UPI was announced by the government, players like Samsung, Zomato, Google, and, now, WhatsApp have been looking to incorporate it on to their existing hardware and software To Google in India already has a UPI-based payments application called Google Tez, which has proved be a success for the company. WhatsApp though could enjoy greater success given its considerably large user base in India and popularity in the market. WhatsApp has over 200 million users in India alone, and is the leading messaging app in the country.
WhatsApp and Facebook are both working towards UPI-based integration. Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, is expected to bring this feature to its Messenger app. WhatsApp has already gone live with a Business app in India which is aimed at SMEs in the market. A payments feature within the regular version of the app could also add a new use case for small businesses, enterprises which decide to use the WhatsApp Business app to connect with customers.