comscore WhatsApp payments feature detailed in new beta version
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WhatsApp payments feature detailed in new beta version

The messaging platform is building its payments service on the UPI system.

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That WhatsApp is getting into payments was reported a few months ago. Now, a new beta version of the app has surfaced, and it reflects an UPI payment option for peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfer. India’s likely to be the first market to get WhatsApp’s payment feature that is being built on the government-backed Unified Payments Interface. WhatsApp version ‘2.17.295’ was spotted by technology blog WABetaInfo on the Google Play Beta Program. Also Read - "Mobile payments exceeded ATM cash withdrawals for the first time" in India last year: PM Modi

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“WhatsApp Payments: the immediate bank-to-bank transfer with UPI,” reads the official WhatsApp Payments section for Android, that s still under development. In order to use WhatsApp Payments, users would have to accept the WhatsApp Payments and Bank Terms and Privacy Policy. WABetaInfo released a screenshot of the new beta version of the app. WhatsApp was reportedly talking to India’s biggest bank SBI to launch the payments system. Also Read - WhatsApp users on iPhone will soon able to Undo Status, suggests report

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WhatsApp is the second Facebook-owned platform to be attempting in-app payments. Facebook Messenger already allows US users to transfer money to friends and family within the app since 2015. And when it comes to other messaging apps integrating payments, Skype recently tied up with PayPal to allow to P2P money transfer in select markets. In India, homegrown WhatsApp rival Hike rolled out in-app payments (Hike Wallet) in June. ALSO READ: Hike Messenger 5.0 gets UPI-based wallet service, new themes, Magic Selfie and more

WhatsApp, for which India is the largest market, has delayed on delivering its payments system. To facilitate UPI on WhatsApp, Indian banks would have to merge their systems with the messaging app. All major banks have a separate UPI app now. “Due to the complexity of the architecture, WhatsApp is in discussions with the State Bank of India, NPCI and few other banks to devise ways to integrate their systems with the bank and with NPCI,” a senior SBI official was quoted as saying.

WhatsApp has been scouting for a ‘Digital Transactions Lead’ for India. Its website described it as someone “helping users of a forthcoming digital payments service, collaborating with banks and developing global support for the new offering.” However, it has been tight-lipped about the service so far. “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,” a WhatsApp spokesperson had said in a statement.

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  • Published Date: August 18, 2017 10:42 AM IST



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