Payments using WhatsApp would give a push towards digital payments, which is especially necessary during the current pandemic.
WhatsApp Pay: While the WhatsApp Pay feature has been running on beta version in India for over two years now, the payment portal has not been officially launched in the country due to some problems. However, now, a report in Money Control has stated that the payment method would be officially made live in India by the end of May.
The report, quoting two bankers in the know of the developments, said that while the WhatsApp Pay feature would be supported by HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank, India’s biggest bank State Bank of India would not support the method in the first phase. According to the report, all the four banks had been in the process of integrating with the instant messaging platform while it had started the beta testing of the feature with the support of ICICI Bank.
The report further quoted WhatsApp spokesperson as saying that the Facebook-owned company is working with the government to make the feature that allows users to make payments through the instant messaging app available to all users. The spokesperson further said that payments using WhatsApp would give a push towards digital payments, which is especially necessary during the current pandemic as it can help its 400 million Indian users make contact-less payments.
According to the report, the instant messaging platform initially started testing the payment portal in February 2018, after which it could not move to an official release of the feature due to legal as well as regulatory issues. One of the bankers said that the company is now working to adhere to the data localisation guidelines laid down by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in April 2018, which had been one of the biggest reasons behind the delay.
The payment product would offer digital payments based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), but it will be launched in a phased manner. That is because WhatsApp’s huge user base is expected to cause a major jump in transaction volumes, for which the banks would not be prepared. Hence, a phased launch of the feature would allow banks to prepare and support the system appropriately.