Payments on WhatsApp go live in India

‘We are working with five leading banks in India: ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank. People can send money on WhatsApp to anyone using a UPI-supported app,’ according to a blogpost

Following the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) nod to WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, to roll out its payments service in India, Mark Zuckerberg on Friday said payments were available now in 10 Indian regional language versions of the platform.

Mr. Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook, in a video message added that with UPI — on which WhatsApp payments is built— India had created something “truly special” and was opening up a world of opportunities for micro and small businesses that were the backbone of the Indian economy.

“I am excited today that WhatsApp has been approved to launch payments across India. Now you can send money to your friends and family through WhatsApp as easily as sending a message. There’s no fee, and it’s supported by more than 140 banks. And because it’s WhatsApp, it’s secure and private too,” he said.

“India is the first country to do anything like this. I’m glad we were able to support this effort and work together to help achieve a more digital India. I want to thank all our partners who’ve made this possible,” he added.

Mr. Zuckerberg said when people could access financial tools, they were more empowered to support themselves and others, or start a business. In the long term, there was a need for more innovation that gave people control over their money, and making payments easier was a small step that could really help, he said.

In a blogpost, WhatsApp explained that to send money in India, it was necessary to have a bank account and debit card. WhatsApp would send instructions to banks, also known as payment service providers, that initiated the transfer of money via UPI between sender and receiver bank accounts.

“We’re delighted to be working with five leading banks in India: ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank. People can send money on WhatsApp to anyone using a UPI-supported app.” it said, adding for added security a personal UPI PIN would be required for each payment.

Payments on WhatsApp was now available for people on the latest version of the iPhone and Android app, it said.

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