WhatsApp’s Payments Service is Finally Here: How to Use it

After a two-year trial to launch WhatsApp’s payments service, the company has now launched the service. They had several failed attempts when the service started due to regulatory and antitrust hurdles. However, the sister company to Facebook has now rolled out the service, but it will be gradual in a graded manner.

WhatsApp's payments service

India is home to 400 million Whatsapp subscribers making the biggest market for the app. The concerns about data storage and sharing for service since 2018 have now been settled, and users will enjoy the service, which is as easy as sending a text. 

India’s regulatory body for retail payments, The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), regulates retail prices has confirmed the service approval. The Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the service rollout in India, which will happen in bits. 

WhatsApp’s Payments Service Framework

India’s national payments infrastructure, Unified Payments Interface(UPI), allows payments across different apps. The infrastructure is also used by other payment apps like Walmart’s PhonePe and Google Pay, which are the largest UPI mobile payment providers in the country. Both providers control about 40% of the market revenue. 

It is expected that India will face fresh challenges shortly in digital payment services. After the announcement by the NPCI that they will limit the amount of UPI transactions in every single service to protect the UPI ecosystem. No service will be allowed to transact more than 30% of the total UPI transactions, but how they will go about the limitation has not yet been disclosed. 

The facebook-owned payment service will take some time to reach the set limits as NPCI was clear to rein on the use from the beginning. WhatsApp has been allowed to roll out in a graded manner beginning with the maximum registered UPI user base, and 160 banks support the UPI.

The service is based on Unified Payments Interface(UPI), India’s digital payment system, and WhatsApp’s partner in its payments feature. They also partnered with ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank to ensure a comprehensive user coverage for the service. Initially, they expect a maximum of 20 million users per NPCI, an excellent place to begin. 

Setting up WhatsApp’s Payments Service

The service is available for iOS and Android users who have the latest version of the messaging app. Since the new service will roll out gradually, the expected number of users will not access the feature at once. 

Activate WhatsApp Pay by navigating to Settings > Payments, then select Add payment method. Ensure that you link the same mobile number on your WhatsApp account to that on your bank account.

Once you specify your bank, WhatsApp will display the accounts linked to your mobile number. Click on the account, then verify the card linked to it, create a PIN then complete the procedure. 

How to send or receive money on WhatsApp pay

“Now you will easily send money to friends and family through WhatsApp just as easily as sending a message,” said Zuckerberg. During this global pandemic, the service is ideal when people are encouraged to avoid cash transactions and embrace digital payments. 

Anyone on your contact list can send you money or vice-versa. When you are the sending, you complete the transaction by scanning a QR code that the app provides. 

WhatsApp's payments service

Click on the contact you want to send money to, then hit the Attachment icon on the chat window, then select Payment.  Type the amount to be transferred, then enter your UPI PIN to authorize the transaction. If it goes through, a confirmation message from your bank will be sent to your mobile number, and voila! You have made a successful money transfer on the WhatsApp’s payments service. 

Conclusion

WhatsApp’s payments service has now been launched in India after a two-year delay to clarify some concerns. The payment service is working in India, where the Facebook-owned messaging app has the biggest subscribers. Mobile owners using both the iOS and Android OS with the latest versions of the messaging app are the ones to enjoy this service. 

Also, note nothing will be added to your WhatsApp as the commands to activate it already exists on your phone. The only thing you should make sure is that the mobile number you use on WhatsApp is linked to your bank account.

The service is set to roll out in grades to ensure a smooth running. NPCI plans to limit the amount transacted by the mobile payment services, but they have made it public to go about it. It is expected that the rollout will go on smoothly, considering 160 banks in the country support it. 

With over 400 million Whatsapp users, it is no wonder the payment service was launched in India. Mark Zuckerberg was excited about the service launch and described it as easy as sending a WhatsApp text to your phone contacts. It was only possible after the service met all localization requirements as provided by the regulatory body NPCI.

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