In February, Facebook-owned WhatsApp was reported to be working on a UPI-based payment feature in India and now a new report suggests that the company might roll out the feature in the coming week.
Soon after deciding that it was going to use UPI to allow peer-to-peer transactions within its 200 million strong user base, WhatsApp has sought permission from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to start working on the feature. WhatsApp is also working to partner with HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and SBI to launch the feature.
Currently, available for select beta users on iOS and Android, the new feature enables individuals to send and receive money using the Indian government's Unified Payments Interface (UPI) standard.
This feature is available on WhatsApp version 2.18.21 for iOS and Android version 2.18.41. The UPI-based feature can be accessed in a chat window via Attachments menu. You can then select your preferred bank account to connect with UPI. Clicking on Payments will open a disclaimer window, followed by a list of banks to choose from.
The feature requires users to create an authentication pin and to set up a UPI account (if you don't have one previously) through the UPI app or your respective bank's website/ app.
In April, few users reported a new 'Request money' feature being unveiled through an invite system which allows users to set up their UPI-based payments profile and start sending money.
Once you receive the invite, hit the '+' icon on iOS app or the attach icon on Android to see the 'Payments' option show up. This option can also be accessed in the settings menu.
However, WhatsApp does not add an extra layer of security like Google does with its Tez payments app, but you are required to verify each payment using your UPI pin. Once set up, all you need to do is enter an amount and verify it using the UPI ID and the amount will be credited to the recipient's account.