WhatsApp, the Facebook owned instant messaging service, has reportedly started testing its long rumoured payment feature in India. According to the reports, some WhatsApp beta users on iOS and Android can now see UPI (Unified payments interface) integration in the app.
The feature is said to be available on app version 2.18.21 on iOS and 2.18.41 or later on Android. This hints at the official rollout of the feature in near future. India is the first country where WhatsApp is enabling its payment feature.
The feature is currently available to select users, so if you are a beta tester and can’t find it on your phone, you are not alone. The feature, as suggested by GizmoTimes, can be accessed in the ‘Attachments’ option in the chat window. The ‘Payment’ feature appears next to other options— Gallery, Video, Documents and more. Upon clicking, users will see a disclaimer window, followed by a list of banks to link your bank account.
Existing UPI users can simply link their accounts to WhatsApp, whereas the non-UPI users will have to generate authentication pin and create a UPI account to use the option.
There’s no word on when will this feature roll out to public, but going by WhatsApp’s track record, we can expect it to arrive soon. With a massive user base of over 1.5 billion, WhatsApp will have an advantage over its competitors.
The payment option on WhatsApp will not just make transactions easy, but it will also boost the digital payment scene in India. Soon after demonetisation, we have seen a surge in the demand and implication of digital payment methods. There was a time when PayTm held the monopoly in this sector, but soon after UPI became a reality, there are tons of e-payment solutions like Samsung Pay, Tez, BHIM, PhonePe and more.