Meta-owned instant messaging app WhatsApp has had a payments feature since a while, but it is not popular at all. The feature allows users to pay their contacts with UPI, and WhatsApp has been trying to make the feature visible in order to lure users into using the feature on the instant messaging app. The company has now got an approval from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for adding 60 million more users to the payments feature. The NPCI has approved an additional 60 million users on UPI for WhatsApp and with this approval, WhatsApp will be able to expand its payments service to 100 million users.
This comes as an important development for WhatsApp, as the company has told the NPCI previously that there should be no cap on the number of users its payment services can have in India. The NPCI has, instead, given WhatsApp a 100 million cap, which is a 60 million increase from the previous limit of having 40 million WhatsApp payments users in India. While 100 million does sound a lot, it is not even close to WhatsApp’s more than 500 million users in India.
WhatsApp had gotten NPCI clearance for WhatsApp Pay back in 2020 after the company spent years trying to comply with the Indian regulations. WhatsApp Pay had started with a cap of 20 million on the number of users that can access the payments feature. This was increased to 40 million in November last year.
WhatsApp’s payments feature is not as popular as the Meta-owned company may have hoped in India. WhatsApp competes with the likes of Google Pay, Paytm, and PhonePe in the Indian market. Given that these payment apps have somewhat established themselves as the most-trusted players in the digital payments space, it will be difficult for WhatsApp to establish that kind of market in India.