WhatsApp UPI-based digital payments platform will soon kick-start in India

What we do on WhatsApp? Chatting, video calling or file transferring. That’s it. But, in future, it will be possible for us to make instant digital payments through WhatsApp UPI-based digital system. Yeah! It’s true.

The Facebook-owned WhatsApp is in discussion with the State Bank of India (SBI), the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and a few other financial institutions to facilitate instant payments via Unified Payment Interface (UPI) for users within its platform. Though, such tie-ups will require a wallet licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

WhatsApp UPI-based digital payments platform

According to The Economic Times, in view of the fact that messaging applications can allow instant and easy transfer of funds, banks are concerned over security of data in the process involved.

Thus, the report quoted a senior SBI official stated that some security protocols will need to be implemented around payments through WhatsApp. If it decides to use Aadhaar-based payments, then we will have to enable biometric authentication. We are currently at the ‘proof of concept’ stage and are looking ways to integrate it with our back-end.

In a bid to make digital transactions through WhatsApp, both the parties – Banks and WhatsApp – have to integrate their systems so that the app can identify the correct recipient and UPI layer allow the fund transfer between two parties.

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The current discussions also include concerns regarding the manner in which consumers will be able to access the payment method i.e. whether it will be done through WhatsApp or appear as a payment mode in the payment gateway page.

It’s interesting to note that there are 20 crore active WhatsApp users in India, which can give an edge to this new digital payments initiative of WhastApp.

In future, it will be possible to allow instant payments for businesses working through social media like Facebook.

Similar methods have been adopted by other applications like Truecaller and Hike Messenger who have UPI-based digital payments tie-up with ICICI Bank and Yes Bank, respectively.

READ MORE: Paytm Wallet Handbook

Megha Jain

Engg & Freelance Author

Straight forward