WhatsApp has received approval from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to go live on Unified Payment Interface (UPI) with over 160 supported banks.
Over 400 million WhatsApp users in India can now send money, and payments feature is now available for Apple iPhone and Google Android users who are on the latest version of the app.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: We’ve built it using India’s Unified Payments Interface, which makes it easy for anyone to instantly accept payments across different apps — and for companies to provide people with great services.”
Payments is available now in 10 Indian regional language versions of WhatsApp.
“All you need is a debit card with a bank that supports UPI and you can set it up straight away. You can find it in the latest version of WhatsApp,” Mark Zuckerberg said.
WhatsApp began testing payments feature in 2018 in India but could not launch the feature owing to regulatory roadblocks and data compliance issues.
WhatsApp will be working with five leading banks in India: ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank. Customers can send money on WhatsApp to anyone using a UPI supported app.
WhatsApp said the payments feature is designed with a strong set of security and privacy principles, including entering a personal UPI PIN for each payment.
The move comes after NPCI in August had informed the Reserve Bank of India that WhatsApp had met data localisation requirements.
Brazil became the first country to roll out WhatsApp payment service in June.
In India, the WhatsApp payment service will compete against other major players like Paytm, Google Pay and PhonePe, among others.