Currently, WhatsApp has launched a person to person payment feature in India. This feature will allow the users to send money via WhatsApp to others WhatsApp users, excluding the merchant’s account. However, this feature is currently in the Beta form, as per the sources that are aware of the company’s plan. This feature is yet to be announced publically, and the reason for this is that it is yet not widely available.
The company has been working on support for payments features for quite some time now. This feature would take advantage of the UPI (Unified Payments Interface) and it also goes on to include support by numerous well-known Indian banks, including the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, and Axis Bank.
The beta testers have found that new payment feature now live, with a list of supported banks displayed in the WhatsApp user interface.
The screenshots posted on Twitter and in this post is from iPhoneHacks, and users who have gained the access to this new feature will be able to view the payments features in their WhatsApp Settings menu.
It is necessary for the users to configure the features by first verifying their phone number via SMS and selecting a bank. Only after this, will the user be allowed to send payment, which is available from the main Whatsapp interface (It is the same area from where you share your pictures, videos, files, contacts and location into your chat session).
The Facebook-owned company have received approval from the Indian government in order to integrate UPI into its messaging service last July, so as to implement payments, as per the reports from The Economic Times.
This new addition has gone on to put WhatsApp into competition with other messaging services, which already supports payments, for example, PayTM the digital wallet platform and the newly launched Tez from Google.
However, Whatsapp supports for payments are highly awaited due to its huge popularity among the Indian Users. It might surprise some of you, but India is WhatsApp largest market, with over 200 million users’ active daily.
It seems that the potential for WhatsApp to dominate the Indian P2P payments is quite strong, given that millions of people are now available online. According to App Anni, in the year 2017, India has gone on to suppress the U.S for combined iOS and Android downloads for the very first time
WhatsApp is yet to comment on the launch.