The payment gateway is supported by more than 140 banks in the country
WhatsApp’s payment services are now available in 10 Indian regional languages.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement on Friday, after the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) gave the nod to Facebook-owned WhatsApp to roll out its payments services.
Zuckerberg, in a video message, added that with UPI — on which WhatsApp payments is built— India had created something “truly special” and was opening up a world of opportunities for micro and small businesses that were the backbone of the Indian economy, reports the Hindu, an Indian daily.
“I am excited today [on Friday] that WhatsApp has been approved to launch payments across India. 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. And because it’s WhatsApp, it’s secure and private too,” he said.
“India is the first country to do anything like this. I am glad we were able to support this effort and work together to help achieve a more digital India. I want to thank all our partners who have made this possible,” he added.
He also said people are more empowered to support themselves and others, or start a business when they can access financial tools.
In the long term, there is a need for more innovation that gives people control over their money, and making payments easier is a small step that can really help, he said.
In a blogpost, WhatsApp explained that to send money in India, it is necessary to have a bank account and debit card.
WhatsApp would send instructions to banks or payment service providers, which would initiate the transfer of money via UPI between sender and receiver bank accounts.
“We are delighted to be working with five leading banks in India: ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank. People can send money on WhatsApp to anyone using a UPI-supported app,” the post said, adding that a personal UPI PIN would be required for each payment for added security .
Payments on WhatsApp are now available for people on the latest version of the iPhone and Android app, it said.