WhatsApp Pay gets nod from NPCI, to be launched in India in a phased manner

The much-awaited WhatsApp Pay will be finally launched in India after the Facebook-owned app managed to get a nod from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

According to a report by the Business Standard, the Facebook-owned WhatsApp Pay will be finally rolled out in a phased manner. “The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has granted WhatsApp a licence to operate its digital payment service in a phased manner,” a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) executive told the publication.

As per the report, WhatsApp will initially be able to offer UPI payment services to 10 million users in the country. Once the company receives a nod for all other compliance points, it will be able to roll out the service to all users.

WhatsApp, which has over 400 million users of its messaging service in India, rolled out payments through WhatsApp to a million users as a part of the trial run in February 2018. The company partnered with ICICI Bank for the trial run and made WhatsApp Pay available for select users. However, back then, the US-based social media giant did not get permission from various regulators for the wider rollout.

Through WhatsApp Pay, users can send money directly through chat by tapping on the share file icon in the chat bar and selecting ‘payment’. There’s a dedicated ‘Payments’ section available under the shortcut menu. During the initial phase, WhatsApp Pay allowed users to send money only to their contacts after which it enabled UPI ID. WhatsApp Pay users could enter the UPI ID and send money.

As per a recent study, UPI payments have become popular in India. According to a report by Razorpay, digital transactions are estimated to have grown by 338 percent from 2018 to 2019. Interestingly, the usage of cards declined to 46 percent in 2019 from 56 per cent in 2018, and and netbanking to 11 per cent from 23 per cent in 2018. UPI, on the other hand, grew to 38 per cent in 2019 from 17 per cent in the previous year.

Among UPI, Google Pay contributed 59 per cent, PhonePe contributed 26 per cent, followed by Paytm (7 per cent) and BHIM (6 per cent) in digital transactions in 2019. Amazon Pay was the most preferred wallet among consumers (33 per cent), followed by Ola Money (17 per cent) in 2019.

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