WhatsApp today announced its pilot program of adopting 500 villages across Karnataka and Maharashtra. The Meta-owned instant messaging platform is aiming to make digital payments more accessible through ‘payments on WhatsApp’. The announcement was made at Fuel For India 2021 – Meta’s annual event in India. Also Read - From pausing voice recordings to in-app support, here are top features coming to WhatsApp
The pilot aims to effect a behavioral transformation to digital payments at the grassroots. Abhijit Bose, Head of India, WhatsApp, said, “At WhatsApp we are committed to help accelerate financial inclusion in the country. We have started this pilot program in 500 villages across Karnataka and Maharashtra as part of our mission to onboard the next 500 million to the digital payments ecosystem. We believe that WhatsApp’s ease of use and reliability can promote the adoption of UPI with users across, including those at the bottom of the pyramid. We will continue to contribute meaningfully in this journey of educating users at the grassroots, so they can trust digital payments, as they gradually make the transition from a ‘cash-only’ way of financial life.” Also Read - WhatsApp starts testing in-app support for Android, iOS users
The pilot called ‘Digital Payments Utsav’, started on the 15th of Oct, 2021 in Kyathanahalli village in Mandya district of Karnataka, where facilitators familiarised villagers with various aspects of digital payments including – signing up for UPI, setting up a UPI account and safety best practices of using digital payments. Also Read - You can share your WhatsApp Status updates on other apps, here’s how
The instant messaging platform claims that the initial results from the pilot program have been encouraging.
At the Meta event, WhatsApp also announced a new way in which Reliance Jio users can do prepaid recharges. The application can also be used to recharge other numbers using WhatsApp stickers. The user will get the option to make the recharge on WhatsApp using the UPI option.