With more and more people making payments online, WhatsApp saw an opportunity to break through and make more out of its rapidly increasing number of new users. WhatsApp reported last month that it hit 1 billion users.
WhatsApp offers instant messaging, stories, media sharing, voice and video calling, and voice messaging services. It is now working to add payments via UPI to its app. United Payments Interface or UPI allows users to transfer money by just knowing the other user’s UPI address or VPA (Virtual Payment Address). UPI makes transfers seamless without users having to rely on account numbers or IFSC codes. A user can just share their VPA with a friend or even a business, and get a payment credited instantly.
Earlier, The Ken reported that WhatsApp was planning to launch mobile payments within the next six months. Facebook’s Messenger already has a peer-to-peer payments system that was introduced in 2015, though this option is limited to the U.S.
WhatsApp is likely to get UPI Integration before Facebook Messenger. National Payments Corporation of India’s MD & CEO AP Hota spoke to reporters about companies that are working on UPI integration in India.
“As far as WhatsApp is concerned, discussions have commenced. For Facebook, discussions are in the preliminary stage,” Hota told PTI. However, the final approval will have to come from RBI.
From Hota’s statement, it is pretty evident that the UPI Integration could be out soon. With this, not only will it be more convenient for WhatsApp users to make payments, but WhatsApp will also add another stream of revenue to its bag. WhatsApp does plan to incorporate advertisements through the new status feature, starting an ad-revenue stream. With UPI, WhatsApp could charge a commission on every transaction.