WhatsApp has been working on its UPI-based digital payments feature for a while now, and it has been in the beta testing for the last two years. The payment option was first spotted in the beta version V2.18.41 on Android and V2.18.21 on iOS, back in 2018. However, the messaging platform was unable to roll it out to stable users in India because of approval issues from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in the country. Back in 2018, the payment feature was rolled out to a select few stable users to test the grounds.
Now, it seems that the most popular chat platform is all set to launch the much-awaited feature by the end of this month to everyone. Once it rolls out officially, WhatsApp will give stiff competition to the likes Google Pay, Paytm and more. In fact, it could become the de facto payment option given its 400 million-strong user base in the country and the emergence of WhatsApp-based services like JioMart and Xiaomi Mi Commerce.
WhatsApp Pay details
As reported by Moneycontrol based on the intel from two bankers aware of the development, WhatsApp will roll out its UPI-based payment services in India latest by this month end. This development comes after WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook received the approval of the NPCI to launch WhatsApp Pay in India in February this year.
According to the report, WhatsApp’s payment service is backed by as many as four banks including SBI, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, and HDFC Bank. However, in the first phase of rollout, only ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, and HDFC Bank will be offering UPI handles on the messenger platform.
According to a WhatsApp spokesperson, “We are continuing to work with the government so that we can provide access to payments on WhatsApp to all of our users. Payments on WhatsApp will help accelerate digital payments and this is particularly important during COVID as it is a safer way to transact for our 400 million users in India.”
How to use WhatsApp Pay
Once the feature rolls out, you should be able to see the Payments option after clicking the three dots icon in the top right corner on the home screen. When you click on it, you will be asked to add a new payment method, select bank and authenticate payment service by linking their registered phone number with the bank. Once set up, you can initiate payments easily by going into a chat and selecting Payment options from the attachment button.