- Confirmed in April 2017, WhatsApp’s mobile payments service went live in India in beta.
- The service connects your bank account to India’s UPI platform.
- It is unknown when the payments service will be available in Europe, North America, and other territories.
10 months after WhatsApp confirmed it was working on a digital payments service, the Facebook-owned messaging company seemingly launched the service in India.
Available for beta users, the payments service is available from a chat window through the Attachments menu. From there, users can select their preferred bank account and have it connected to the Indian government’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform. Users have reportedly encountered issues linking their bank accounts to WhatsApp, but those issues should go away with future updates.
UPI is a framework that allows for instant transfer between participating banks. Companies like Samsung and Google incorporated UPI into existing hardware and software, so this appears to be WhatsApp catching up to the competition. Users are asked to create an authentication pin if they have not used the UPI platform before. They are also asked to create a UPI account either through the UPI app or their bank’s website or app.
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Senders and receivers must reportedly have WhatsApp Payments enabled to complete transactions.
There are over 200 million daily active Indian WhatsApp users. When also considering that India surpassed the US for the first time in the amount of time spent using mobile apps each month, it makes sense for WhatsApp to debut its payments service in India.
Android Authority reached out to WhatsApp to see whether its payments service will launch in other territories, such as Europe and North America. We also reached out to see when the service will shed its beta status and be available to more Indian users.