After winning approval from India’s National Payments Corporation (NPCI), Facebook‘s WhatsApp will start rolling out its payments feature across the country.
Photo credit: Venturebeat
WhatsApp’s new feature allows its users to send money to other users or share the cost of goods through the app itself. It was designed using the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), an India-first real-time payment system that is supported by over 160 banks.
To use the new payments feature, WhatsApp users must first have a bank account and debit card in India. The app then sends instructions to banks to initiate transfers between sender and receiver bank accounts.
It was also developed with a set of security and privacy principles, including entering a personal UPI pin for each payment, the company noted.
“We’re delighted to be working with five leading banks in India: ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank. People can send money on WhatsApp to anyone using a UPI-supported app,” Facebook said in a statement.
The payments function is now available on the latest versions of WhatsApp’s iPhone and Android app.
According to a press release from NPCI, the messenger service was given the approval to go live on UPI in the multi-bank model. “WhatsApp can expand its UPI user base in a graded manner starting with a maximum registered user base of 20 million in UPI,” the statement read.
The development comes after Facebook’s US$5.7 billion bet in Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries and its digital platform Jio. Prior to the funding’s announcement, it was reported that the two companies were in talks to build a super app much like China’s WeChat.
See Also: Why is Facebook betting $5.7b on Reliance?
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