After Skype, it appears WhatsApp is aiming to make the life of their users easy by introducing the Payments feature. This means you will now be able to do bank-to-bank transfer and receive money directly on your WhatsApp.
For a few months, news has been circulating in tech circles that WhatsApp is working on a Unified Payments Interface (UPI) with plans to release it by this year’s end. There were also reports of WhatsApp rolling out a payments feature to India this fall. However, it appears the feature has been leaked before hand. Techies with a keen eye have spotted the Payments feature in the 2.17.295 beta version of the Android app. WAB Beta Info was the first to get a peek on the Payments feature.
However, it should be noted that this is just the beta version of the feature which means it is still under development and the actual Payments feature will be rolled out on future updates. Keen observers who have seen the beta reveal that the feature will be opt-in and if a user wants to use it they will have to fully accept the terms and privacy policies of WhatsApp payments and the bank involved.
There has been no official word from WhatsApp on this, most importantly when and in which countries it plans on introducing the feature first. However, one thing is clear that now having reached a 1 billion daily users mark, WhatsApp is exploring avenues to retain their users. And the Payments feature is just another way to do that. China’s popular messaging app WeChat already has a payment system incorporated in it and is widely used by people in the country. It will be interesting to see how well people receive the WhatsApp Payments feature once it rolls out to the masses.
Just last week, it was announced that Skype will be rolling out a Payment feature but that would be via PayPal and hence completely useless for Pakistani people. In such a case WhatsApp payment would prove to be very beneficial since it offers instant bank-to-bank transfer.