WhatsApp Pay goes live in India with four banks as partners
After being stuck in regulatory hurdles for more than two years, WhatsApp has finally gone live with its payments offering in India.
December 16, 2020 / 01:24 PM IST
Instant messaging platform WhatsApp has gone live with its payments offering in India with four banks—State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank, the Facebook-owned company said in a press note on December 16.
WhatsApp, which counts India as its biggest market, will now offer Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based payments to its users. It was given permission to go live by the National Payments Corporation of India in November 2020.
NPCI is India’s flagship payments processor that operates UPI.
"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,” WhatsApp India head Abhijit Bose said.
NPCI has kept a cap of 20 million users on WhatsApp Payments but that will be eased over a period of time.
Also read: Explained | WhatsApp Payments goes live in India, what does this mean for the ecosystem?
The entry of WhatsApp into the payments arena is a watershed moment for the platform in its quest to be "superapp" or India's WeChat. WhatsApp will start with payments and then foray into larger financial services.
At an industry event earlier this year, Bose had laid out his plans to help drive financial inclusion by offering multiple financial services on WhatsApp, which has 400 million users in India.
Since 2018, WhatsApp Pay was stuck in a perpetual beta mode where it was offering payments to only a million customers.