Whatsapp has finally rolled out its much awaited payments feature across the country which is giving a huge boost to digital payments in India. Pixr8 also today published that digital payments in India will soon touch $1 trillion by 2023, which is for sure is good news for ‘Digital India‘.
However, this is not the first time when WhatsApp tried foraying into the payments business. Last year it tried launching a payments app but was turned down by RBI, which says,”Non-bank entities applying for authorisation shall be a company incorporated in India and registered under the Companies Act 1956 / Companies Act 2013.” WhatsApp, owned by Facebook is headquartered in United States hence it could not enter the payments market.
However, after Modi’s Starup India and Digital India campaigns, a new transformation was introduced. In order to promote digital India the government launched UPI(Unified Payments Interface) that allowed real-time bank to bank funds transfer. UPI comes with fewer barriers and offered opportunity to foreign companies. As soon as it was launched, Google rushed in and launched its UPI app in September called Tez.
Although currently Facebook’s Messenger platform provides digital payment option to its users in US, but due to heavy WhatsApp Indian user base and growing popularity of UPI, Facebook decided to go with WhatsApp in the country.
How does WhatsApp Payments work?
WhatsApp payments system has been kept very simple and quick. A current WhatsApp user just needs to verify the account with mobile number linked to his/her bank and using UPI he will be set-up on the go.
Once a user initiates a payment, a pop-up comes at the screen of the recipient to verify the payment. If he/she clicks ‘OK’ the transaction could be completed.
“Just tried WhatsApp Payments, got reminded what great user experience is all about,” tweeted Amrish Rau, chief executive of payments company PayU India. Snapdeal CEO Kunal Bahl tweeted: “Quite fascinating to see how many people have already started using WhatsApp for payments in a matter of few days…”
This feature, however, is currently rolled out to some selected users for testing and using purpose. It will soon be available for everyone.