WhatsApp on Friday started its payments services in India after the National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI’s) nod. NPCI, which runs the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), had on Thursday allowed WhatsApp to start its payments service in the country in a “graded” manner, starting with a maximum registered user base of 20 million in UPI, which is used for real-time payments between peers or at merchants’ end while making purchases.
“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. People can safely send money to a family member or share the cost of goods from a distance without having to exchange cash in person or going to a local bank,” the Facebook-owned company said in a blogpost.
WhatsApp had in 2018 started testing its UPI-based payments service in India, which allows users to utilise the messaging platform to send and receive money. The testing was limited to about a million users as it waited for regulatory approvals to come in. The company has said that the payments feature has been designed in partnership with NPCI using UPI, an India-first, a real-time payment system that enables transactions with over 160 supported banks.
Here how you can start using WhatsApp Pay and how it will work:
- You must first add a payment method by clicking on ‘payments’ from the three-dotted icon on the home screen to start using WhatsApp Pay.
- You should select the bank and verify through SMS to set up UPI ID.
- You should select the ‘attachment’ icon and select ‘payment’ from chats to make payments.
- You need to enter UPI PIN to complete the transaction.
- WhatsApp has partnered with five leading banks in India including ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank.
- “To send money on WhatsApp in India, it’s necessary to have a bank account and debit card in India. WhatsApp sends instructions to banks, also known as payment service providers, that initiate the transfer of money via UPI between sender and receiver bank accounts,” WhatsApp said.
- You can also send money through WhatsApp to anyone who is using an app that supports UPI.
- WhatsApp will make users enter UPI PIN for every payment to enhance security and privacy on the app. The company has said that “payments is designed with a strong set of security and privacy principles”.