WhatsApp is now testing out its UPI-based payments feature in India. This new payment feature is currently available for select WhatsApp beta users on Android and iOS. One can easily send and receive money using the Indian government’s UPI (Unified Payments Interface) standard.
The new WhatsApp UPI Payments feature was spotted first by Gizmo Times and shows “Payment” available in the attachment option, right next to the usual options of Documents, Gallery, Audio, Location and Contact.
The WhatsApp UPI Payments Feature Is Now In The Beta Testing Phase
According to various reports, the feature is said to be made available on the WhatsApp version 2.18.21 for iOS, and version 2.18.41 for Android. India is WhatsApp’s largest market with over 200 million users active daily users. So, considering the large number of people using this popular messaging app, the payment integration will be another, added boost to the digital payments system.
According to The Economic Times, Facebook-owned company had received approval from the Indian government to integrate UPI into its messaging service last July in order to implement UPI based payments on the app.
Clicking on the Payments option will open a disclaimer window (like the above, image taken from gizmo times) followed by a large list of banks displayed on the interface. You can then choose your preferred bank account to connect with UPI. If you have still not used a UPI based payments platform yet, you will be asked to create an authentication pin at this stage. Further, you will also have to create a UPI account (this if you don’t have one previously) through either the UPI app or on your respective bank’s website/ app.
A FoneArena report stated that for a successful transaction on WhatsApp, both the sender and receiver need to have the WhatsApp Payments feature. Although this was expected from a feature available in beta, users have been reportedly facing issues linking their bank accounts to the app.
What The New WhatsApp UPI Payments Feature Could Mean For Google Tez
The addition of the UPI payments’ feature on WhatsApp puts it into competition with other messaging apps that already support payments, even the recently launched Google Tez and also for the online wallet platform PayTM, which had expanded into messaging to directly take on WhatsApp.
But WhatsApp’s UPI payment integration was heavily anticipated particularly because of the app’s enormous popularity with the Indian users.
As millions of people have come online thanks to inexpensive data costs and cheaper smartphones, WhatsApp has a huge potential to dominate the Indian P2P payments. In 2017, the country has surpassed the US for combined iOS and Android downloads for the first time, according to reports by App Annie, due to the surging smartphone adoption.
From what we know, WhatsApp will go official on this, when P2P payments will become more widely available in India, once the beta testing is completed.