More reports on: E-business, Financial services

WhatsApp's Payment feature allows user to user cash transfers, no merchant, business transactions for now

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10 February 2018

WhatsApp's Payment feature based on United Payments Interface (UPI), has gone live for some users in the beta version of the app on Google Play Store it was reported earlier this week.

However, the payments feature will be person-to-person based, meaning regular users will be able to make payments to each other.

However, merchants or people registered as business users on WhatsApp would not be able to receive payments for now, according to indianexpress.com. The company has officially declined to make any comment on when the feature will go live for all users.

Both iOS and Android beta versions of the app were seen on WhatsApp Payments and two publications, GizmoTimes and FoneArena had shared screenshots of the same.

The feature was, however, limited to a few users and not all Android beta testers were able to see it. As per the leaked images, which have been shared, WhatsApp's Payments feature will appear as another attachment options to the current ones which include documents, photos, videos, etc.

WhatsApp UPI-based payments will be peer-to-peer based and the app will also support a majority of the banks on the UPI platform.  The roll out of WhatsApp payments in India based on UPI was long awaited.

According to commentators, the official launch of the feature would likely boost digital payments in India, considering the popularity of WhatsApp, but  the competition for digital wallets is also likely to increase.

WhatsApp boasts a 250-million strong user base across India. With the introduction of a person-to-person payment feature the messaging application, the platform gets a leg up over other digital transaction applications. Paytm has 180 million users in the country, while Google Tez, another UPI-based payment application, crossed 12 million users in India last year.

The transactions in WhatsApp Payments will be made through bank accounts linked to Unified Payments Interface (UPI), allowing users transact between accounts of different banks. This works in the favour of the messaging application as transaction between different digital wallets is still not an option.





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