According to the sources WhatsApp, a Facebook-owned instant messaging service, has begun rolling out its Unified Payments Interface or UPI-based payment capability to more customers, according to two people familiar with the situation.
“NPCI [National Payments Corporation of India] has allowed WhatsApp to onboard more users and possibly its payment feature is now available for all,” said one of the sources. “The formal announcement is likely soon,” the person added.
In November 2020, WhatsApp reached a milestone of 20 million users.
It’s worth mentioning that the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which regulates UPI, lists all third-party applications, including WhatsApp, on its website and marks which of them are permitted for restricted users with a # symbol, indicating that it’s just for limited users.
And until recently, WhatsApp’s name on the list featured this symbol in front of it.
On Monday, however, we saw that the # The symbol was removed from WhatsApp by NPCI, indicating that the Menlo Park-based firm is now able to enroll as many users as possible. WhatsApp has now collaborated with four banks to handle payments using UPI: ICICI, HDFC, SBI, and Axis Bank.
This news coincides with the announcement of Manesh Mahatme as the new head of WhatsApp’s payments division in India.
Mahatme will focus on expanding WhatsApp’s payment business in India after joining the firm from Amazon, where he spent almost seven years as director of Amazon Pay India.
In India, WhatsApp’s payments function took more than two years to arrive. To comply with the Indian government’s data localization regulations, the firm had to go through a lengthy procedure.
WhatsApp Pay has failed to acquire traction in the previous six months, despite being permitted for 20 million users. According to NPCI data, 0.51 million transactions of Rs 48.15 crore were registered in May, and since November 2020 the number has never exceeded 1 million.
Google Pay, PhonePe, and Paytm, the top three firms in the UPI network, control more than 90% of the market share. PhonePe was the market leader with a 45.27 percent market share in May 2021, followed by Paytm and GooglePe with 11.44 percent and 34.67 percent market share.