WhatsApp, one of the world’s largest messaging app, owned by Facebook has finally launched its long-awaited payment service in beta.
WhatsApp has recently launched its Business app for selected markets and now the company is expediting its move of testing a digital person-to-person payment solution initially in India, one of the most important markets for the company, as reported by the Tech Crunch.
According to the sources familiar with the company’s plan, the feature is currently tested in beta version and not widely available for all users of WhatsApp is India. Some users in India have noticed the feature popping up in both the iOS and Android version of WhatsApp. Last year in April, WhatsApp announced the working on digital payments service initially for India, and it’s surprising that the company took almost a year in developing it even in beta.
In various developing countries, transferring money digitally is especially useful for local merchants and for friends and family to transfer funds among themselves. Reports suggest that WhatsApp has signed up a number of Indian banks to help expand its payments service. WhatsApp will take advantage of UPI (Unified Payments Interface) in India by partnering with Indian banks like State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, and Axis Bank.
The beta testers of the new feature of Whatsapp have confirmed that the function is live and with a list of various banks in the Whatsapp user interface. The new feature will appear in the newer setting menu. Users will have to first verify their number and then they have to choose a bank from the option.
Due to the lack of high-speed internet in emerging markets like India, WhatsApp has become extensively popular with a user base of more than 200 million daily active users only in India. The entry of globally renowned social app in fintech domain will be quite helpful for users and could be a potential threat to other players in the same industry.
It is still not clear that whether the company will complete the full rollout of the feature in India or it will expand the beta program to other important markets. Pakistan is also a huge market for WhatsApp with millions of daily active users and apparently, next stop for this feature could be Pakistan.