WhatsApp Pay goes live in India

WhatsApp Pay goes live in India

It could be a game changer in the Indian payments market.


KOLKATA: In what could be a turnaround for India’s payments market, WhatsApp Pay has gone live today. WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook has been developing the payment feature for a while now, but regulatory hurdles were not easy to overcome.

The WhatsApp payment feature has been designed in partnership with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) using the Unified Payment Interface (UPI). To carry out transactions via the messaging app in India, it’s necessary to have a bank account and debit card. WhatsApp sends instructions to banks that initiate the transfer of money via UPI between sender and receiver bank accounts. People can send money on WhatsApp to anyone using a UPI supported app.

The Indian digital payments market is already saturated with homegrown platform Paytm, big players like Google Pay, PhonePe, Amazon Pay, as well as a dozen other start-ups. But an enormous growing user base of 400 million, and a market value projected to reach $1 trillion in the next three years inspires confidence of having more than a fighting chance among new entrants like WhatsApp. Plus, the messaging app already enjoys immense popularity in the country, which also happens to be its largest market.



“In the long run, we believe the combination of WhatsApp and UPI’s unique architecture can help local organizations address some of the key challenges of our time, including increasing rural participation in the digital economy and delivering financial services to those who have never had access before,” the company stated in a blog post.

Just like every feature in WhatsApp, payments is designed with a strong set of security and privacy principles, including entering a personal UPI PIN for each payment, the app’s developers added. Payments on WhatsApp is now available for people on the latest version of the iPhone and Android app.