• UPI-based payment system
  • Send and request money
  • Expected to roll out in December this year

The UPI-based payment system has seen a sudden growth in India since the demonetization move by the Indian government in November last year. Since then we have seen various key players introducing the UPI-based payments app. The biggest example of which is Google introducing Tez app in India that has managed to garner 7.5 million users in just 5 weeks.

Now another big name is expected to enter into digital payments in India by the end of this year. The Instant messaging app, WhatsApp is to come up with an intuitive in-chat payments feature in India by the end of December this year. Notably, this will the first time messaging giant will be introducing a payment feature anywhere in the world.

Image Credit: FactorDaily

According to a report by FactorDaily, the WhatsApp payments feature is in its final stage and is being tested by the WhatsApp employees. Factor Daily also quoted a person with knowledge of the plan saying, “They are likely to do some sort of an extended beta program for the feature in November and by December you can expect a full rollout”.
The company has reportedly partnered with three of India’s biggest banks – State bank of India, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank, FactorDaily further reported.

The biggest highlight of the WhatsApp payments features is that it will allow the user to make payments without leaving the chat interface. Thisthanns users will be able to send money just like sharing media, contact or location on the messenger. The Rupee symbol is will be made available alongside the contact, location and other media icons in the pop-up window that appears when tapping on attach icon on WhatsApp messenger.

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By tapping on the Rupee button, users will be able to send and request money from their WhatsApp contacts. After user input the amount it will ask for personal identification number before hitting send. The receiver will get a notification with an option to accept or reject the payment request.

There were a few Twitter posts suggesting that the company is soon to come up with WhatsApp payments feature soon. However, WhatsApp has not made any official statement in this context the till date.

Photo Credit: CB Insights

As discussed earlier, UPI-based payments have witnessed very fast growth in India. Around 30.8 million transactions worth Rs 529 crore were carried out through UPI system in October 2017, according to data from National Payments Corporation of India. It is said to be 100 times higher than November last year.

The in-chat intuitive WhatsApp payments feature might prove to be a game changer and a nightmare of other UPI based payment systems in India. WhatsApp already has around 200 million active users in India. With a fan base this strong it is surely going to hit.


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