Discussions have been initiated with several banks and institutions to allow users to make payments through United Payments Interface (UPI).

WhatsApp in talks with SBI and NPCI to integrate payments into its app
Atom Digital Payments Friday, June 23, 2017 - 10:32

The world’s most popular messaging application WhatsApp is keen on building a payments platform. Taking this plan a step forward, it has initiated discussions with Indian banks and other institutions to allow its users to make payments through United Payments Interface (UPI), reports the Economic Times.

UPI facilitates instant fund transfer between two bank accounts on the mobile platform.

Owned by social networking major Facebook, WhatsApp is talking to the State Bank of India (SBI), the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and a few other financial institutions to integrate payments on its platform.

“Due to the complexity of the architecture, WhatsApp is in discussions with the State Bank of India, NPCI and few other banks to devise ways to integrate their systems with the bank and with NPCI,” a senior SBI official told ET, adding that they are currently at the proof of concept stage, looking at ways to integrate it with its back-end.

UPI was launched in 2016 by former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan and is run by NPCI.

Apart from SBI, WhatsApp is in early discussions with several Indian banks.

ET reports that with UPI allowing instant settlement of funds between peers, all banks need to do is to integrate their systems with WhatsApp, which can identify the correct recipient.

“A messenger works in a manner of identifying an address box where the messages travel to instantly. Similarly, UPI instantly settles funds between one account holder and the other. WhatsApp will identify the recipient and the UPI layer will allow funds to get settled between two parties,” a senior executive, who manages payments at a private sector bank told ET

Most recently, Truecaller too introduced UPI-based payments into its app in partnership with ICICI Bank. Hike has partnered with Yes Bank for the same.

As per the report, while messaging applications can allow instant and easy transfer of funds, banks are concerned over security of data in the process involved.

Image: Jan Persiel via Flickr

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