After Running Trials Since 2018, WhatsApp Launches Payment Service In India

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WhatsApp has finally launched the much anticipated payment service in India.

Few hours after India’s regulatory body for retail payments – National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), gave its approval to WhatsApp, Facebook made a blog post confirming the rollout of the payment service.

Social media giant – Facebook Inc. – began testing the payment service in India in 2018 with 1 million WhatsApp users. With the official announcement, the payment service is now getting extended to more users in the country.

The service would allow users in India send and receive payments directly within chats.

“I am excited today that WhatsApp has been approved to launch payments across India,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a video statement. “Now you can send money to your friends and family through WhatsApp as easily as sending a message.”

The payment service which is already active, is available in 10 Indian languages, and open to users on the latest version of WhatsApp.

Aside from being on the updated version of WhatsApp, any user that wants to use the payment service would, according to Facebook, have a bank account, as well as a valid debit card.

Noting the importance of digital payment services in the time of a global pandemic, Facebook CEO – Mark Zuckerberg said that:

“Now you’re going to be able to easily send money to your friends and family through WhatsApp just as easily as sending a message.”

The Verge reports that WhatsApp’s payment system will use India’s national payments infrastructure, known as the Unified Payments Interface or UPI.

The payment interface allows interoperability between different apps and is also used by Walmart’s PhonePe and Google Pay – two of the largest UPI mobile payments providers in the country, with both controlling around 40 percent of the market.

To make the payment service work seemlessly for Indian users, Facebook said it is working with five indian banks.

“We’re delighted to be working with five leading banks in India: ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank.”

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