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As WhatsApp Pay goes live, Mark Zuckerberg says India has created something 'truly special' with UPI

Mark Zuckerberg, in a video message, said that the company had been working on WhatsApp UPI with the NPCI to ensure that it is secure and reliable.

November 06, 2020 / 02:06 PM IST

Lauding India for going the digital way, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that with UPI, India has created something "truly special" and is opening up a world of opportunities for micro and small businesses that are the backbone of the Indian economy.

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), India’s flagship payments processor, on November 5 allowed WhatsApp to go live on UPI.

WhatsApp can expand its UPI base in a graded manner starting with a maximum number of registered users at 20 million, the NPCI said in a statement.

"India is the first country to do anything like this. I am glad we were able to support this effort and work together to help achieve a more digital India. I want to thank all our partners who have made this possible," Zuckerberg said in a video statement.

Also Read: Explainer: WhatsApp Payments goes live in India, what does this mean for the ecosystem? 

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The CEO of Facebook Inc. - the company that owns WhatsApp, said that sending money through WhatsApp is as easy as sending a message. "There is no fee, and it is supported by more than 140 banks," Zuckerberg said, adding that it is secure and private too.

WhatsApp Payments is available in ten Indian regional language versions of WhatsApp.

He also said that the company had been working on WhatsApp UPI with the NPCI to ensure that it is secure and reliable. "We have built it using India’s Unified Payments Interface, which makes it easy for anyone to instantly accept payments across different apps -- and for companies to provide people with great services," Zuckerberg added.

WhatsApp’s payment service in India has long remained stuck because of regulatory and legal hurdles.

Notably, cashless transactions in India received a big boost after Prime Minister Narendra Modi banned high-value currency notes in late 2016.

In a related development, the NPCI on November 4 capped third-party app's transaction volume in UPI at 30 percent.

Read: NPCI imposes 30% cap on transaction volumes of UPI payment apps

“With UPI reaching 200 crore transactions a month and with potential for future growth, it has issued a cap of 30 per cent of the total volume of transactions processed in UPI, applicable on all Third-Party App Providers (TPAPs). This will be with effect from January 1, 2021,” NPCI's official statement read.

The move could impact payment apps like apps like Google Pay, PhonePe, and Paytm that are leading the race as UPI is still primarily used for person-to-person fund transfers.
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