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Popular instant messaging app WhatsApp may soon get a built-in payments feature. The Facebook-owned company is said to be already beta testing the platform with its banking partners.
Recently, the company also rolled out its WhatsApp for Business app. It is likely that the app too may have some kind of integration with the payments feature.
Here’s all you need to know about the upcoming feature.
The payments facility in WhatsApp may comes as soon as February. According to a report in Economic Times, the platform is likely to go live for consumers by the end of February. The company is already running trials with its partners.
According to the report, WhatsApp will act as a top layer that will identify both the sender and the recipient at the back-end. It further adds that since the app’s payments platform will be integrated with banks, it will also identify the bank account of the customers.
Finally, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) will help settle the transactions. WhatsApp is reportedly at various stages of integrating its UPI-based system with its banking partners.
Over the last few months, UPI has emerged as one of the fastest-growing payments instruments in the country. It is said to have reported 145 million transactions in the month of December 2017.
The company has tied up with various leading banks in the country for the payment option. These reportedly include State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank.
A banking partner told ET that there are various security concerns that need to be addressed before the integration, especially with regard to customers’ banking data.
A senior banker told ET that to be able to send money as easily as a text message involves ensuring various levels of encryption to keep the data safe.
There’s competition galore for WhatsApp in the space, with apps like Paytm, Google Tez and government’s BHIM in the fray.