WhatsApp Pay: NPCI approves WhatsApp to join UPI Payment

On November 6, 2020, the National Payment Corporation of India approved the Facebook owned messaging Application, WhatsApp to “Go Live” on UPI. This is to be achieved through new feature of WhatsApp called “WhatsApp Pay”.

Key Highlights

In order to achieve this, WhatsApp has partnered with five banks namely ICICI Bank, Indian Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, State Bank of India. Apart from these five banks , Jio Payment Bank has also been included. Now, anyone can send money on WhatsApp to any other user using the UPI supported application.

Under the partnership, the money will be held in the bank account. The messaging app is just a platform that will help transfer the money to other people. The payment feature is being powered by UPI.

Security Features

WhatsApp assured that the payment system is designed with strong set of security measures including a person pin verification for every transaction.

What is the plan?

The NPCI has allowed WhatsApp to expand its user base in a graded manner. Initially the service is to be rolled out to 2 crore WhatsApp users. WhatsApp has more than 40 crore users in the country. This is because NPCI has stated that 30% cap is to be implemented on total payment volumes on every third-party payments application. This is to come into force from January 1, 2021.

This 30% cap is on the total volume of transactions. The restrictions were imposed on the same day WhatsApp received a go-ahead to launch its payment feature.

UPI in India

Currently UPI holds 400 million customers. In 2017, UPI accounted to 9% of all digital transactions in India. Later in February 2020, the share of UPI crossed 50%.

Impacts

The move is expected to hurt Flipkart owned PhonePe, Google’s GPay that commands 83% of market share.

Why was launch of WhatsApp Pay delayed?

The WhatsApp Pay underwent considerable delay because data localisation norms were introduced by Reserve Bank of India.

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