WhatsApp Payments feature is now available to up to 20 million users in India for enabling UPI payments, as the first stage of the phased expansion. The Facebook owned WhatsApp platform confirms that WhatsApp Payments are now Live with State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank, and will enable the National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI) Unified Payment Interface (UPI) system for users to make payments, money transfers and more. The announcement comes as part of the ongoing Facebook Fuel for India summit, the first edition of the India focused summit by Facebook. If you are ready to set up WhatsApp Payments for your WhatsApp app, this is what you need to do.
To set WhatsApp Payments on your Apple iPhone or Android phone, you must ensure you are running the latest version of WhatsApp. If you are using an Android phone, download the latest version, if not already, from the Play Store. If you are using an iPhone, head to the App Store to check for the latest version. Secondly, the phone that you are using WhatsApp on has to be working with the same mobile number that is registered with your bank account. For the UPI verification during setup, an auto-detect SMS will be sent to confirm the mobile number.
Once you have WhatsApp Payments set up for UPI with your bank account, you can simply make payments to a contact from within the chat window. On Android, it will be the attachment icon while on iPhone, you will see a “+” icon near the chat text box. Tap that, and you will see a payment option. Enter the amount on the screen, add any comment if you want and make the payment. There will also be a payment card added to the chat window.
For receiving a payment, the process remains fairly similar and you select the payment option in the chat window. On the screen that shows up where you will fill the amount, look for the tabs on the top of the window and select Request. By default, this screen is on the Send tab. Enter the amount there to send a request notification. A user who owes you money can simply tap that notification to make the payment from their WhatsApp Payments.
At this time, WhatsApp Payments is being rolled out for 20 million WhatsApp users in India, with expansion to enable the option for more users happening in a phased manner. This is being limited because NCPI, the National Payments Corporation of India, has implemented a cap that limits a single third-party payments app to handle a maximum of 30 percent of the total UPI transactions on a monthly basis. WhatsApp has more than 400 million users in India. New players such as WhatsApp Payments have to implement it now while existing payment platforms will have to comply in the coming months. WhatsApp Payments will be competing with payment platforms including Paytm, PhonePe, Amazon Pay and Google Pay.
There is no requirement for the know your customer, or KYC either with UPI payments. KYC, or Know Your Customer, is a verification process to confirm the identity of the owner of a bank account or a mobile wallet used to make payments or keep money. Since WhatsApp Payments is linked to your bank account which will already be KYC compliant, there is no need for additional KYC when you set up WhatsApp Payments.
The WhatsApp Payments update comes at a time when the government of India is making a continuous push for enabling digital transactions in the country, as part of the larger Digital India initiative. It was in November that WhatsApp Payments was given the approval to enable payments for users in India within the WhatsApp app. At this time, the State Bank of India has more than 120 million UPI users in the country, which totals up to about 28% share in the UPI system. WhatsApp Payments will use the unified Payments Interface (UPI), a real-time payments system supported by more than 160 banks in India. The UPI, or unified payments interface, transactions have been consistently growing month on month. The latest data by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) indicates that UPI transactions for November 2020 clocked in at 2.21 billion, which is 6.7% more than the 2.07 billion in October. In September, the UPI transactions clocked in with 1.8 billion.