WhatsApp has finally launched services on the United Payments Interface (UPI) in a major boost for the Facebook-owned app in its biggest market. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), India’s flagship payments processor, on November 5 permitted 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.
In a video statement on November 6, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that sending money through WhatsApp is as easy as sending a message.
"There’s no fee, and it’s supported by more than 140 banks. Payment is available now in available in 10 Indian regional language versions of WhatsApp," Zuckerberg said.
Explainer: WhatsApp Payments goes live in India, what does this mean for the ecosystem?
In a statement, WhatsApp said that it has been designed with a "strong set of security and privacy principles, including entering a personal UPI PIN for each payment."
Payments on WhatsApp is now available for people on the latest version of the iPhone and Android app.
WhatsApp’s popularity in India poses a threat to established players, but it is entering a fiercely competitive and crowded market that has the likes of Google, and Alibaba and Softbank-backed Paytm providing a gamut of payment services.
Meanwhile, the NPCI on November 5 announced that third-party app's transaction volume in UPI will be capped at 30 percent.
The cap of 30 percent will be effective from January 1, 2021, and it will be calculated on the basis of the total volume of transactions processed in UPI during the preceding three months.