WhatsApp has been reported to be testing the Unified Payments Interface, or UPI, functionality to integrate into the WhatsApp Messenger app for quite some time now. The Facebook-owned company posted specific job role for handling the payments in India and later was said to be in talks with major Indian banks for the payments service integration. While these developments indicated an imminent rollout of the WhatsApp UPI service, the latest WhatsApp Messenger beta update shows the payment option live in the app. According to a report, the new UPI integration update is currently rolling out via the WhatsApp beta release channel only to select testers. This means that WhatsApp UPI integration is about to roll out to the users finally.
The folks at GizmoTimes managed to get the update bearing the UPI integration in the WhatsApp Messenger beta v2.18.41, however, we could not reflect this feature on the WhatsApp beta v2.18.44 for Android, which is the latest update available in Google Play store. The report by GizmoTimes further says that the UPI integration widget will replace the camera widget from the popup that opens after tapping the attachment icon in the text box. Additionally, the feature is showing the list of banks and the bank account that is linked, however, the addition of bank account is failing later, perhaps because it is still an early stage.
The WhatsApp UPI feature can be opened by tapping on the Payment option available in the attachments list, followed by a screen that asks the bank account to be linked with UPI. In case the user doesn’t have a UPI account already, the app will allow the creation of UPI ID for the user. However, when trying to link the account, the process just fails, says the report. The list of the banks that can be seen in the screenshots include Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, Yes Bank, ICICI Bank, Airtel Payments Bank, Andhra Bank, and State Bank of India among others.
The Facebook-owned company was granted a permit to integrate the UPI service in the WhatsApp Messenger app in July last year. It has since been small developments to bring the service into a final shape. The rollout of the WhatsApp UPI feature in beta will make the way for the wider rollout for all the users in coming weeks. However, WhatsApp is pretty late to the league which is overcrowded with the likes of Google Tez, Hike Messenger, Truecaller, and other digital wallet apps. Google Tez, which was launched last year, has emerged to be the most used app for UPI transactions but considering the recently announced 1.5 billion user base, WhatsApp is set to have an upper hand.