Facebook-owned messaging app launches a new feature in India: WhatsApp Pay has arrived
WhatsApp Pay has been released in India, where millions of users will be able to use the payments system through the popular Facebook-owned messaging app. The launch of the beta version had taken place in 2018, but only in 2020 the new free service went into full operation.
In this way, Facebook makes its entry into the second largest internet market in the world and can count on a pool of millions of users. In India, in fact, WhatsApp can count on 400 million active users, that is, they use it daily. WhatsApp Pay will allow people to send and receive money securely with their contacts, without the need to withdraw from a bank or use cash. In the two years of roll out, the new service encountered several regulatory hurdles, but now the deployment of the new feature has started across the country.
WhatsApp Pay: how it works
The WhatsApp Pay system is based on the Unified Payment Inferface (UPI), a standard that was defined by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and allows transactions between more than 160 banks. The UPI standard is already used by other payments apps including Google Pay and PhonePe.
WhatsApp Pay on the other hand is supported by five different Indian banks - ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India and Jio Payments Bank. Users who want to send or receive money through the service will need to have a bank account and a debit card with one of the banks that are members of UPI.
For added security of transactions and involves the use of a personal UPI PIN for each of the payments made. The new feature is available for both Android and iOS devices.
WhatsApp Pay: launch in India
Although WhatsApp Pay can potentially count on a pool of 400 million active users, the NPCI has set a limit of enabled users: only 20 million users will be enabled to the service. The Indian body vin this way wants to prevent Facebook's digital payments system from imposing itself as a monopoly over the others already active.
For this reason, the Indian authority has allowed WhatsApp Pay to be able to grow gradually, with the limit being gradually expanded over time. In addition, the NCPI has stipulated that all third-party apps using the UPI standard, as well as Google Pay, will not be allowed to process more than 30 percent of the transaction volume.