Messaging App WhatsApp said it is rolling out its payments services in India after receiving nod from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
In 2018, the Facebook-owned company had started testing its UPI-based payments service in India, which allows users to utilise the messaging platform to send and receive money. The testing was limited to about a million users as it waited for regulatory approvals to come in.
On Thursday, NPCI – which runs the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) used for real-time payments between peers or at merchants” end while making purchases – allowed WhatsApp to start its payments service in the country in a “graded” manner, starting with a maximum registered user base of 20 million in UPI.
In June this year, WhatsApp had launched ”WhatsApp Pay” in Brazil – making it the first country where the service was widely rolled out.
In India, WhatsApp – which counts India as its biggest market with over 400 million users – will compete with players like Paytm, Google Pay, Walmart-owned PhonePe and Amazon Pay.
WhatsApp said it is working with five banks in India – ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank – and people can send money on WhatsApp to anyone using a UPI supported app.
WhatsApp noted that its payments service is designed with a strong set of security and privacy principles, including entering a personal UPI PIN for each payment.