WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned instant messaging app is likely planning to introduce peer-to-peer payments in India. According to a new report from The Ken, WhatsApp is preparing to launch peer-to-peer payment services on its platform in the next six months. The company is also said to be in talks with the Indian Government to get support for UPI (Unique Payment Interface). For those unaware, UPI allows quick transfer of money between users’ accounts across multiple banks in a single mobile app. The report also cited that WhatsApp is hiring a head of digital transactions with expertise in UPI (Unified Payments Interface), Aadhaar (India’s biometric identity system) and BHIM.
Separately, WhatsApp in a statement told TechCrunch,”India is an important country for WhatsApp, and we’re understanding how we can contribute more to the vision of Digital India. We’re exploring how we might work with companies that share this vision and continuing to listen closely to feedback from our users.”
Although the company has not made any official announcement yet , WhatsApp co-founder Brian Action during his India visit in February, said that the company was “in the early stages” of looking into how it can incorporate payment services(via TimesofIndia). With the over 200 million users in the country, WhatsApp is considered to be the most popular messaging service amongst the users in India. However, it would be interesting to see how the company’s shift towards the payments service would gain equal popularity in the country as the mobile wallets PayTM, Mobikwik have already received major share in the payment platform post demonetisation. Samsung had also recently its mobile payment service Samsung Pay in India that uses MST and NFC to make payments.