This payment service will allow a user to make digital transactions directly from the Facebook-owned messaging platform.
Post the recent introduction of the much-awaited Delete for Everyone and Live Location features for Android as well as iOS users, WhatsApp is gearing up to launch its in-app payment feature. This payment service will allow a user to make digital transactions directly from the Facebook-owned messaging platform.
The new feature has been in the news for quite a while. And now a new report by Daily Factor has revealed that work on the payment feature is nearing completion and the in-chat payment service is expected to make its debut in India by December 2017. An anonymous source has also informed Daily Factor that WhatsApp is likely to conduct an extended beta program before the final roll out. Moreover, a WhatsApp blog states that the beta version 2.17.295 will come with the Unique Payment Interface or UPI integration feature.
Earlier reports have claimed that WhatsApp is in talks with financial institutions like ICICI Bank, the State Bank of India and HDFC Bank to facilitate its UPI-based payment service. However, the Facebook-owned company has not come out with any detailed information about its upcoming payment feature.
Going by the sketchy details available, it seems that the feature is simple as well as intuitive as it will allow users to transfer funds without having to exit the chat interface. The new feature is likely to be similar to sending an image or a video to another user without leaving the chats window.
WhatsApp is likely to name this feature ‘Pay.’ Moreover, the new feature will come with a Rupee icon in the attachments window along with the location as well as contact options. A user can either send or request for money by tapping the attachments window. When a user clicks on the Rupee icon, WhatsApp will ask him to type in the amount and enter his personal identification number before clicking on the Send icon. The receiver will then get a notification, which appears similar to a shared contact. On receipt of the message, the receiver has the option of either accepting or rejecting the payment.
An important thing to keep in mind, however, is that the above-mentioned details about how the payment feature will work have come from informal channels of communication. There will be more clarity after WhatsApp makes the formal announcement.
Currently the Facebook-owned popular online messaging service has over 200 million users in India. Moreover, the integration of WhatsApp’s payment feature with UPI will be an attractive option as users will not give into the temptation of leaving the app to transfer money to other users.
Speculations are rife that WhatsApp’s upcoming payment feature, which will allow a user to send money to contacts as well as well friends, will become a sought-after option. And it goes without saying that this feature will give other players in the digital payment space enough reason to worry. Considering WhatsApp huge subscriber base in India, the launch of its payment feature could mean a setback for apps like PayTM and PhonePe.