WhatsApp’s Payments (commonly known as WhatsApp Pay) feature is now available to users across India for up to 20 million users. The feature has been launched with support from banking partners State Bank of India, HDFC, ICICI, and Axis Bank.
WhatsApp designed its payments feature on National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI) Unified Payment Interface (UPI) system and was granted approvals to go live recently in November 2020 on a peer to peer (P2P) basis. It has enabled people to transfer money securely and easily, just like sending a message through WhatsApp.
Digital payments in India are expected to reach $94 trillion by FY25. The availability of the WhatsApp Payments feature further adds impetus to the dynamic growth of digital transactions in India in line with the Government of India’s vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society. The combination of WhatsApp and UPI’s unique architecture aims to address some of the key challenges of today’s time, including increasing rural participation in the digital economy and delivering banking and financial services to those who have been bereft of access, so far.
“We’re excited and privileged to partner with State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, and AXIS Bank to bring simple and secure digital payments to WhatsApp users across India. UPI is a transformative service and we jointly have the opportunity to bring the benefits of our digital economy and financial inclusion to a large number of users who have not had full access to them before,” said Abhijit Bose, Head of WhatsApp, India, in a press release.
State Bank of India (SBI), the largest commercial bank in the country, serves over 45 crore customers. SBI now also offers UPI services through WhatsApp Payments, bringing the convenience of easy and instant mobile-based payments.
These collaborations between the country’s apex banking organizations and WhatsApp Payments, enabled by UPI, aim to boost the digital ecosystem to the unbanked and accelerate the Government of India’s agenda of building a more digitally enabled Bharat.
“Banking on WhatsApp offers immense convenience to our customers as it allows them to bank seamlessly while they are on WhatsApp. […] Now with WhatsApp Payments, there is a unique opportunity to scale essential financial services to people all over the country with ease. We are delighted to partner with WhatsApp and wish them the very best. We look forward to continuing offering ease and convenience to our customers by providing them with a host of services through this partnership,” said Mr. Bijith Bhaskar, Head – Digital Channels & Partnership, ICICI Bank in a press release.
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