You can finally send money through WhatsApp in India

You can finally send money through WhatsApp in India

Over time, the NPCI said Whatsapp can gradually increase the number of its users that it can extend its service to on the Unified Payments Interface. The social media giant is only allowed to roll-out this feature to a maximum of 20 million users initially.

UPI works primarily with your phone number and the service now works with five of the leading banks in India: ICICI, Axis, State Bank of India, HDFC, and Jio Payments Bank.

Further, the money sent using the app will be transferred directly from your bank account to the recipient's bank account instantly.

India has more than 718 million Internet users, and it ranks second in terms of the number of global network users in the world.

"There is no fee and its supported by more than 140 banks". WhatsApp had been operating the service on a pilot basis for the last two years but was not given official permission due to non-fulfillment of data localization requirements.

Google Pay, Walmart's PhonePe and Paytm are among the TPAP players in the fast-growing UPI ecosystem, amid the sustained push for boosting digital payments in the country. WhatsApp's entry has always been feared by rivals like Google Pay, PhonePe and Paytm as it can change the industry's dynamics.

NPCI has said, the cap of 30% will be calculated basis the total volume of transactions processed in UPI during the preceding three months (on a rolling basis).

WhatsApp has gone live with its UPI payments offering from Friday.

Industry players have been averse to this idea.

PhonePe is committed to ensuring that NPCI's new rule does not disrupt services for its customers, founder and CEO Sameer Nigam said.

For Facebook-owned WhatsApp, getting the final nod has not been easy.

"Digital payments in India is still in its infancy and any interventions at this point should be made with a view to accelerate consumer choice and innovation". But the approval was not given then.

"WhatsApp entering payments may tilt the market and help all other players get under the required market cap of 30%. And because it's WhatsApp, it's secure and private too", Zuckerberg said in a video message. One can also add a note. The digital platform is seeing strong numbers from Tier II and Tier III towns in India, with more than 70% transactions coming from users in those towns.

Earlier this year, the firm launched payments in Brazil only to be shut down by the central bank within ten days over competition issues.

The NPCI approval also follows another recent direction imposing a cap of 30% of the total volume of transactions processed in UPI, applicable to all third-party app providers, effective January 1, 2021.

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