Meta-owned messaging app WhatsApp witnessed a sharp slide in the volume of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions in July as limited-period cashbacks for users were withdrawn.
The number of UPI transactions on WhatsApp dropped to 6.18 million in July from 23.04 million in June, when the cashbacks had been introduced. However, the value of UPI transactions on the app grew to Rs 502 crore in July from Rs 429.06 crore in the previous month, according to data released by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). Also, the volume of transactions on WhatsApp in July held above the May level of 3.5 million.
In June, WhatsApp had introduced a feature that allowed a limited set of users to get cashbacks of up to Rs 105. “The cashback incentives were a pilot programme for a limited period of time. It is not active anymore,” a well-placed source told FE.
In April, the NPCI allowed WhatsApp to enable UPI payments for an additional 60 million users, taking the app’s total payments user base to 100 million. The payments feature had gone live on the messaging app in November 2020 for 20 million users and the cap on the user base was raised to 40 million in November 2021.
Due to its staggered start, WhatsApp has ended up trailing large players like PhonePe and Google Pay in the UPI sweepstakes. In July, its market share stood at just about 0.1% in terms of transaction volumes, down from 0.4% in June. In value terms, its share rose to 0.05% from 0.04% in the previous month.
PhonePe is the leading UPI app, with 3 billion transactions and a volume share of over 47% in July, followed by Google Pay, which recorded 2.13 billion transactions during the month, accounting for nearly 34% of UPI volumes.