New Delhi: After over two years in the pilot phase with a million users, WhatsApp’s payments service has now received approval to operate in India.
In a statement Thursday, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) said it had given its nod for the Facebook-owned messaging platform to “Go Live on UPI”.
“WhatsApp can expand its UPI user base in a graded manner starting with a maximum registered user base of twenty million in UPI (Unified Payment Interface),” the statement said.
In a video released after the NPCI sanction, Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg said, “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.”
Anyone using a UPI-supported app can send money on WhatsApp as long as the receiver also uses the messaging service. The sender must have a bank account and debit card in India.
How to send money on WhatsApp
For using the service, the first step is to download the latest version of WhatsApp to find the payments option.
Open the app and select the contact you want to send money to. Tap the icon that looks like a paper clip — the usual icon for attaching something in a WhatsApp message. As the options appear for what can be attached, select the ‘Payment’ icon with a Rupee symbol.
WhatsApp will initialise the payment process once you key in the payment value. For example, if you wish to send Rs 250, enter 250 in the chat where you usually type a text message.
Press the send button. WhatsApp will then ask you to enter your four-digit UPI PIN. Enter the code and tap the button with a tick to approve it.
The whole process takes less than 10 seconds.
When the payment is complete, you will see a completion message in green right below the payment value.