There appear to be more suitors for the government’s digital payments initiative, Unified Payments Interface (UPI). If reports are true, WhatsApp is already testing out a beta version of its payments app on its messaging platform using the UPI standard. This could indeed give a huge boost to the digital payments mode given the wide usage of WhatsApp in India.
According to select WhatsApp beta users who have spotted the facility, UPI-based payments will enable the users to send and receive money through it and is available on both Android and iOS-run devices. The versions where the facility is currently available are 2.18.21 for iOS, and version 2.18.41 for Android.
Describing the way, the payments facility has been integrated, it can be accessed through the attachments icon on the messaging app and along with the existing options like Gallery, Video etc. The Payments options will also show up there and the user has to click on it to get to the next level of the interface. Here, there will first be a disclaimer which one has to agree to and then choose the bank through which the transaction is preferred to be carried out.
At this stage in the process, the user will have to connect his or her bank account with the UPI interface and after that, making the payments becomes a breeze.
However, for first-time users of UPI app, the mandatory authentication PIN will have to be created and used to access the payment facilitator. Another aspect to be kept in view is that the sender, as well as the receiver, should have the WhatsApp Payments app installed in their respective devices for the transactions to take place.
Being a beta version there may be some bugs, particularly while connecting with or registering on the bank account. These may get ironed out before the app is thrown open to all customers by WhatsApp.
As mentioned, UPI is already gaining ground with Samsung, Zomato, Google and most recently Amazon also having adopted it to allow customers to make payments for their products/services.