WhatsApp Payment feature is now live in India, making it the first country to support in-app payment on the popular messaging platform. The payment option has made its way to some users right now, but is not available to everyone yet. The payment feature is enabled merely by linking the app to the country’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) that allows users to link their bank account without sharing confidential details.
WhatsApp chose India to launch the Whatsapp Payment feature because the app is hugely popular in India. Mobile analytics firm App Annie, confirmed this data stating that the Indian WhatsApp user base is more than 200 million daily active users, with India surpassing the US. Facebook which the owner of WhatsApp has had a payments system in its Messenger app for some time in the U.S., but WhatsApp remains far more popular in India and is heavily used there as an e-commerce portal, despite not yet offering any features that specifically support the practice.
What is WhatsApp Payments?
This is the peer-to-peer payment option. Hence, you can’t use this for merchant payments. As mentioned above, it is a UPI based platform. The money will be directly credited to recipient’s bank account. Also, as you are sending money to a WhatsApp user who has linked his phone number with the bank account and UPI, there is no need to enter the VPA (Virtual Payments Address) or bank account number or IFSC code.
Who can use WhatsApp Payment?
- You must have WhatsApp app on your phone.
- Both sender and receiver should be running the latest WhatsApp version as well as have WhatsApp Payment option enabled.
- WhatsApp number should be same as your mobile number linked to your bank account with UPI option support as well.
So how to Use the Payment Feature on WhatsApp ?
- Check if your phone has the latest version of WhatsApp (2.18.46)
- Go to Settings and select Payment
- Verify your mobile number to link with bank account
- After linking your account, head over to the chat window
- Pay another user from the message interface with a 4-digit PIN as the password
How to send money?
To send money to your friend, ensure that the Payments feature is activated to his/her WhatsApp account as well. The person needs to setup their bank account as well. After which, just start chatting and tap the attachment button (like you do for sending images) to see Payments. Now follow the steps to send money. The feature works in a group chat as well and you can choose a particular member in a group chat to send money. Don’t worry, if you are not sure whether the other party has WhatsApp Payments activated for not. The app will alert you of that.
The feature is likely to reach all users in the coming weeks, but from what we have experienced, the UPI-integration does seem to work as advertised.