WhatsApp, the messaging platform from Meta, on Wednesday announced the expansion of its payments service in India to make it easier for people transacting with businesses to pay for purchases directly in the chat, with a choice of UPI apps, including rival digital payment options, as well as credit and debit cards.
Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg asserted that India is leading the world in people and businesses embracing messaging.
Who Can Use WhatsApp Payments In India?
WhatsApp has more than 500 million users in India, though regulators there have capped its in-app WhatsApp Pay service to only 100 million people. People shopping on WhatsApp could also pay using popular services like Alphabet Inc’s Google Pay, Paytm and Walmart’s PhonePe but only after being redirected outside WhatsApp.
Payments via those rival services – and any others that run on UPI – will now be possible directly within WhatsApp, Meta said in a blog post. New in-app options for credit and debit cards will also be offered.
While WhatsApp Pay users will remain capped in India, there is no such limit on the number of users permitted to transact with businesses on WhatsApp using the other methods, news agency Reuters quoted a Meta spokesperson as saying.
People will be able to add items to a cart and send a payment using the payment method of their choice – either WhatsApp or other payment methods, including all UPI apps, debit and credit cards, and more – all without having to go to a website, open another app or pay in person.
WhatsApp Payments Service: Eligibility
To use Payments, you must use a phone number with the country code for India and have a bank account with a bank that supports UPI. The phone number you use for WhatsApp’s services must be the same phone number linked to your bank account used for Payments.
More To Come
Moving forward, the new payment tools will be available to any company in India that uses WhatsApp’s business platform, which mainly serves large companies.
WhatsApp said it is working with partners Razorpay and PayU “to make paying for something as simple as sending a message”.
A series of new tools have been announced for turbocharging businesses, including WhatsApp Flows and Meta verified badge, to “speed up how to get things done with businesses in a WhatsApp chat”.
Zuckerberg said Meta has continued to innovate with messaging formats, group chats and broadcast channels.
WhatsApp Flows is a new feature for businesses to create richer in-chat experiences for their customers like booking a reservation, ordering delivery or checking in for a flight, directly on WhatsApp. Businesses will be able to choose from a series of flexible, pre-made building blocks so they can easily design rich, customisable experiences for their customers.
Zuckerberg said WhatsApp Flows gives businesses the ability to create customised experiences within chat threads.
(With agency inputs)