WhatsApp is working on adding payments via UPI to its app, and it looks like this could be out soon. The beta version of WhatsApp’s Android app currently includes a preview for the UPI payments feature, though this is hidden. According to WhatsApp blog, WhatsApp beta version 2.17.295 has the UPI integration feature.
Earlier a PTI report had indicated that WhatsApp will likely get UPI integration before Facebook Messenger. PTI was quoting National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)’s MD & CEO AP Hota who spoke to reporters about companies which are working on UPI integration in India.
“As far as Whatsapp is concerned, discussions have commenced…For Facebook, discussions are in preliminary stage,” is what Hota told PTI. However, the final approval will have to come from RBI. According to his statement, Google will probably be the first add UPI payments in India, given the talks are complete and the company is now waiting for RBI approval.
Earlier, The Ken had reported that WhatsApp was planning to launch mobile payments within the next six months. Facebook’s Messenger already has a peer-to-peer payments and this was introduced in 2015, though this option is limited to the US.
UPI stands for Unified Payments Interface and allows users to transfer money by just knowing the other user’s UPI address or VPA (Virtual Payment Address). UPI makes transfers seamless without users having to rely on account numbers, IFSC code, etc. A user can just share their VPA with a friend or even a business, and get a payment credited instantly. For WhatsApp, which plans to introduce services as an option soon, a UPI-based payment in India could be a boon. The app already has over 200 million users in India.