WhatsApp, as we all know has become a daily part of our lives. The instant messaging giant is all set to bring about a major change in the ways we make payments.
WhatsApp has begun its testing of a new feature that will let you send digital payments to your family and friends in the same way as you would send a photo, file or any other attachment. The payment option is still rolling out gradually and would make way to most users in the coming weeks. If all go well, WhatsApp could come out with this feature to users across the globe. The new feature works off a widely-used digital payments system developed by a UPI (Unified Payment Interface). However, there is no word about utility payments yet.
India has the world’s largest number of WhatsApp users, with about 250 million users using the messaging service on daily basis. The users should have linked their respective bank accounts with the application. Important catch here is that the WhatsApp number should be the same as the number attached with the bank.
HOW TO SET UP WHATSAPP PAYMENTS
For setting up the ‘Payments’ first time, you will need to go in the Settings menu.
Once you’ve selected the ‘Payments’ option, app will take you through a series of steps:
-You will then be asked to verify your phone number with a SMS. After a few seconds, a list of bank accounts linked to your mobile number will show up.
Select any one to continue.
-Then verify the debit card linked to your bank account.
-Finally, you need to enter a one-time password sent to your mobile number, create a UPI PIN, which you will need each time you make a transaction.
WHAT TO DO IF ‘PAYMENTS’ OPTION IS NOT AVAILABLE
-The option may not be visible to every user presently.
-If you can’t find the ‘Payments’ option yet, don’t be upset. There’s an easy way out, just find someone who has received the payments feature and get them to try and send you funds. That’s it, your ‘Payments’ option will be activated.
PayTm, the largest digital wallet operator in India, is definitely the main competitor to WhatsApp in payments, introduced its own UPI payments feature recently. PayTm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma tweeted that Facebook with WhatsApp payments is “killing beautiful open UPI system with its custom close garden implementation.”
A perception surfaced that Paytm is against “foreign” companies, though Sharma later clarified that his tweets were not about a foreign company, but rather about NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) letting WhatsApp integrate UPI payments without needing to incorporate safeguards which other payments apps had to integrate. In a televised interview, Sharma further went on to say that Facebook and WhatsApp are evil.
NPCI has already clarified that WhatsApp has to follow all UPI guidelines for payments launch.
For now, we can just wait and watch how this episode turns out to be.
What do you think, will the WhatsApp payments have an edge over it’s competitors? Will it be successful? Do share your views.