WhatsApp may use UPI for its peer-to-peer payments in India

Raymond Ronamai
If you are a group admin on WhatsApp or Facebook, be prepared to get into trouble for others' posts.

In what could be seen as a move to cash in on Indian government's push towards a cashless economy, popular text messaging app WhatsApp is reportedly planning to launch peer-to-peer payments in the country.

Sources familiar with the matter have told India-based media company The Ken that WhatsApp is quietly working on launching peer-to-peer payments on its platform in the next six month. The company is reportedly using Unified Payment Interface (UPI) to make the payment service possible.

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UPI is a payment system launched by National Payments Corporation of India and regulated by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that allows transfer of fund from one bank to another via your smartphone.

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"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 and continuing to listen closely to feedback from our users," WhatsApp told TechCrunch in a statement.

WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton said during his visit to India earlier this year that the company was looking into possible ways to integrate payment services into it.

Facebook has already added payments to its Messenger app in the United States but that may not work well in India as it not very popular. However, WhatsApp has more than 200 million subscribers in India alone out of more than one billion active users worldwide. So, incorporating a payment service into the platform sounds interesting and might work well.

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