WhatsApp's payments experience makes "transferring money just as easy as sending a message", says the company Credit: Twitter image

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO said he was excited that WhatsApp received the approval to roll out the payment service in India. This messaging service app which is owned by Facebook rolled out its UPI-based payments service, WhatsApp Pay, for Indian users. The company announced, “Starting today, people across India will be able to send money through WhatsApp.”

The service is available for both Android and iPhone users and WhatsApp said that its payment service is designed with a strong set of security and privacy principles. This includes entering a personal UPI PIN for each payment.

With its launch, WhatsApp made an entry into the already-crowded digital payments space. With over 40 crore users in India, WhatsApp will compete with Alphabet’s Google Pay, Softbank- and Alibaba-backed Paytm, and Walmart’s PhonePe.

Zuckerberg in a video statement said, “I am excited today that WhatsApp has been approved to launch payments across India. Now you can send money to your friends and family through WhatsApp as easily as sending a message. There’s no fee, and it’s supported by more than 140 banks. And because it’s WhatsApp, it’s secure and private too.”

He added, “We’ve been working on this with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), who oversee everything to make sure it’s secure and reliable. And 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.”

The umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlements in India- NPCI has allowed the messaging app to expand its UPI user base in a graded manner with the maximum registered users of 20 million in UPI. This also means that not all users will be able to avail of the payment service in India for now- hence, only 5% of the 200 million users in India. The time period for increasing WhatsApp pay users has not been clarified by the NPCI as of now.

The statement further stated, “In the long run, we believe the combination of WhatsApp and UPI’s unique architecture can help local organisations address some of the key challenges of our time, including increasing rural participation in the digital economy and delivering financial services to those who have never had access before.”

The facebook-owned company said that it will work with five leading banks in India. This includes ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, The State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Banks.

How to send the money?

You must have an Indian bank account and debit card to send money on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp sends instructions to banks which initiate the transfer of money via UPI between sender and receiver bank accounts.

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