After two years of waiting and testing, Facebook-owned WhatsApp has started rolling out its UPI based payment service in India.
WhatsApp began testing payments feature way back in 2018 in India but could not launch the feature owing to regulatory roadblocks and data compliance issues.
WhatsApp has finally received approval from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to go live on Unified Payment Interface (UPI) with over 160 supported banks.
The move comes after NPCI in August had informed the Reserve Bank of India that WhatsApp had met data localization requirements.
WhatsApp took to Twitter to make their announcement.
“Starting today, people across India will be able to send money through WhatsApp. This secure payments experience makes transferring money just as easy as sending a message.” reads the tweet.
Just in time for Diwali, over 400 million WhatsApp users in India can now securely send money to friends and family. This will also be a game-changing service for many small businesses and online shops that deals with customers directly through WhatsApp.
“I am excited today that WhatsApp has been approved to launch payments across India. We’ve been working on this with the National Payments Corporation of India, who oversee everything to make sure it’s secure and reliable,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement on Friday.
“And we’ve built it using India’s Unified Payments Interface, which makes it easy for anyone to instantly accept payments across different apps — and for companies to provide people with great services”.
Payments are available now in 10 Indian regional language versions of WhatsApp.
“All you need is a debit card with a bank that supports UPI and you can set it up straight away. You can find it in the latest version of WhatsApp,” Zuckerberg said.
With the entry of WhatsApp, the other UPI payment services like Gpay, PhonePe, PayTM, etc, will now face major competition. At present, Google Pay (GPay) enjoys the highest market share with around 40% and is closely followed by PhonePe. Paytm and others such as Mobikwik have a combined share of the remaining 20%.
WhatsApp Payment service will be much welcomed by small businesses and Instapreneurs (small businesses run on Instagram), who mostly communicate with their customers through DMs and WhatsApp. Their customers will now be able to send the money directly on WhatsApp instead of bank transfers or using other UPI services.
Here’s how to set up your WhatsApp Pay account
Step 1: Open the WhatsApp app on your phone and tap on the three-dotted icon, which is placed on the top right corner of the screen.
Step 2: Tap on Payments > Add payment method. You will get a list of bank names.
Step 3: After selecting the name of the bank, your number (linked with the bank) will be verified. For this, you need to tap on Verify via SMS. Make sure the WhatsApp number is the same as the one linked to your bank account.
Step 4: Once the verification process is completed, you can then need to finish setting up payments. You will need to set a UPI pin for carrying out transactions similar to how it is on other apps. After this, you will be able to see the chosen bank on the payments page.
How to send or receive money using WhatsApp
Step 1: Open the chat of the person on WhatsApp and go to the attachment icon.
Step 2: Tap on Payment and add the amount you want to send to the individual. One can also add a note.
Step 3: To complete the WhatsApp payment process, you need to enter your UPI PIN. once the transaction is completed, you will get a confirmation message