It’s been predicted quite some time ago that WhatsApp could introduce a peer-to-peer payments system. Well, it just got rolled in India. In an iPhone screenshot available on social media platforms, a list of Indian banks was seen supporting the service at launch. The WhatsApp payment method, as it appears from these pictures, is going to use the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). The National Payments Corporation of India has reportedly created this instant real-time payment system called UPI to facilitate inter-bank transactions. It can instantly transfer funds between two bank accounts on a mobile platform. The Reserve Bank of India regulates the UPI.
Swedish-based phone number lookup service, Truecaller, uses quite a similar system to provide user-to-user payment in India. They tied up with ICICI Bank last April.
In the UPI setup of WhatsApp, the users have to go through a couple of easy steps to transfer cash to other WhatsApp users’ bank accounts instantly. The feature is expected to be officially introduced in India in the first quarter of 2018.
Whether WhatsApp has similar plans for users in other countries is yet to be known.
Facebook has introduced such payment systems via its Messenger app in the past. It was in the U.S. and wasn’t much successful either. Whether WhatsApp succeeds in pulling it off in India is yet to be seen but with its huge popularity in India, the chances of WhatsApp do look good for sure.