WhatsApp is no more just a reliable messaging service now!
The rumors of digital payments service through a cross-platform messaging application has been revolving for quite a bit now. The thing is that those rumors are not just rumors anymore. The launch of Digital Payments service via WhatsApp and that too in a South Asian country is now a reality. The South Asian country that has been taken as a lab rat by the Facebook group is none other than India, the country that has been remarkably displaying their potential for more than a decade in the software and digital world and has been attracting a number of investors and companies to invest lately.
WhatsApp has been testing its digital payments service for two years now i.e. since 2018. This testing phase has comprised of a massive customer audience of up to a million users. This test phase has apparently gotten a green flag by the local authorities their and WhatsApp is now in the phase of rolling it out the general public. WhatsApp, however plans to roll out this product in phases too, starting with the 20 million of India’s WhatsApp messaging users, that only makes up to the 5% of the total customer base. Well yes it is a surprise for most of us to witness that a huge chunk of forty million people use WhatsApp as their daily dose of messaging, REMARKABLE, ISNT IT?
The icing on the cake is that this service is powered by an in-house retail payment system which means that the country has not deviated from their motto to “Make in India!” This retail payment system that has aligned with WhatsApp is known to be Unified Payments Interface aka UPI, popular for their assistance in inter-bank funds transfers. The UPI service has linked the customers’’ bank accounts with their mobile phone numbers of the account holders. This would eventually enable the WhatsApp users to transfer money through WhatsApp as easy as they send a message.
The payments are not to be hold down by WhatsApp. The role of WhatsApp here is to just transfer the funds from a bank account linked with customer’s mobile phone number whenever a transfer is initiated to the sender’s mobile number registered with UPI which should be linked to the recipient’s bank account.
And the most amazing part of the story is that there is no fee being charged for the transfers, while it supports around or over 140 banks. I don’t know what you think about this, but to be honest if this went successful, many of the FinTech(s) will have to face a serious time down the lane.
And yes, this is WhatsApp (well its Facebook actually) for you!