WhatsApp on Monday activated a feature to request payments within its payment function for some users of the app in India. The feature is available on WhatsApp beta for Android v2.18.113. To use the request feature, a user would have to go to the Settings section and select Payments. After selecting the New Payment option, they will have to choose the ‘To UPI ID’ option and enter the virtual payment address (VPA) from where they wish to request payment.
FE reporters tried the option and were able to remit money to one another using the feature. In February, Facebook-owned WhatsApp had enabled payments using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for a limited set of users. Subsequently, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) had said that in order to continue being part of the UPI ecosystem, WhatsApp would have to make its payments feature fully interoperable and include the option of making quick response (QR) code-based payments. While WhatsApp is yet to enable payments for all users, it enabled QR-based payments last month for those users who have access to payments.
The messaging service finds company in Truecaller, Microsoft and Google in the league of multinational corporations who have entered the UPI ecosystem to corner a share of India’s digital payments market. Of these, Google, through its Tez application, has been the most aggressive, garnering users with cashbacks and other freebies. Launched in August 2016, UPI is a bank account-to-bank account payment feature that allows money to be transferred using details no more than a phone number.