It’s no secret that WhatsApp is working on a UPI based payment system for the Indian users. The speculations have been doing rounds for quite some time. That being said, we didn’t have an idea about the release timeline and in the meanwhile, WhatsApp has been quiet about this. However, as per a report from ET, WhatsApp is going to launch the feature sometime in the next month.
The excerpt from the report says the following, “The platform is already in beta stage (testing) with one of its partner banks. We expect the product to go live for consumers by the end of February, depending on how the trials work out.” The source further detailed how the transfer of money between various banking entities involves intricacies that need to be sorted out before the release.
As far as UPI payment feature is concerned, WhatsApp is apparently partnering with State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and the Axis Bank. The messaging service has already moved on to the final phase of testing with a select set of users. It’s also worth mentioning that India will be the first country to get the WhatsApp pay feature and that kind of makes sense since WhatsApp has more than 200 million users in India.
That apart, the payment tool integrated into WhatsApp will open the roads for many traders to transact for their business. It’s quite likely that WhatsApp will introduce the peer-to-peer transfer feature in the initial phase of rollout and perhaps later it may bundle the feature with WhatsApp Business offering as well.
On a related note, other messaging services like WeChat have already integrated the peer to peer payment system. In fact, even PayTM also came up with a similar service, one that allows people to scan number using their smartphone cameras and send the money. Even Skype partnered with PayPal and introduced a payment service within their messenger.