WhatsApp Inc., a Facebook-owned messaging network, will carry out payment services for users around the world in regional languages one day after gaining clearance from the National Payments Company of India.
“Payments are now available in 10 variants of WhatsApp in Indian regional languages. All you need is a bank debit card that supports UPI and you can set it up right away. You will find it in the new edition of WhatsApp, “said Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, in a statement on Friday. It can be used by Android and iOS users since the newest update to the app.
NPCI has provided its node to WhatsApp to provide payment services via the Centralized Payments Interface. This completes a two-year wait for WhatsApp Pay, which has been running pilot operations for users in India so far.
WhatsApp Pay will enter the already crowded payment processing industry provided by the UPI network. Google Pay, PhonePe and PayTM are some of the main UPI payment providers, save for individual bank applications. Permission for WhatsApp pays to go live arrived on the day when the NPCI also imposed a 30 per cent market share cap on the number of UPI transactions beginning in January 2021.
WhatsApp will live on the UPI platform in a graded manner, NPCI said. In the first step, according to NPCI, the user base for payments can be expanded to 20 million. WhatsApp has almost 400 million users in India. At present, in the beta process, WhatsApp Pay supports over 1 million customers as part of the pilot operation.
The payment function based on the UPI platform “makes it possible for everyone to immediately accept payments through multiple apps, and for businesses to offer better services to customers,” Zuckerberg said.
The messaging network is currently working with five Indian banks, including State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and Jio Payments Bank, on the processing of payment services. Users will send funds to 160 banks in India via WhatsApp, the statement said.
The introduction of WhatsApp Pay had seen substantial delays, initially due to the data localization requirements imposed by the Reserve Bank of India. WhatsApp Pay has faced an appeal to the Supreme Court earlier this year when a plea was made against the pilot payment scheme being run by the firm.