WhatsApp, which has more than a billion users a day, has become the latest company to dive into the fast-growing digital payments market in India, having introduced payments to its messaging app to let users transfer money to one another with a text.
A beta version of WhatsApp’s update revealed the service in India, where the messaging app has been recruiting local payment app experts, which was discovered by the blog WABetaInfo.
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) February 8, 2018
The new the beta feature, which is set to give around 200 million users the ability to transfer money through the popular app, is only available to the mobile version of the application and not on WhatsApp Web.
The payment interface is based on UPI services, a peer-to-peer mobile transactions system run by the Reserve Bank of India. The service allows money transfer between any two bank accounts with registered mobile numbers and the list includes India’s major banks such as HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India.
The new product is aimed at the rapidly growing digital payment market in India which is expected to touch $500 billion by 2020. Alibaba-backed Paytm currently dominates the burgeoning ecosystem with a nearly 60 percent market share.
The market is also crowded with several mobile wallet players that are working to grab a slice of India’s growing mobile wallet pie. The list includes global companies like Truecaller, Uber, Hike Messenger, MobiKwik, FreeCharge, Oxigen, Citrus Pay, Phone Pe, PayU, ItzCash, Jio Money and Ola Money.
However, WhatsApp’s support for payments is highly anticipated because of the app’s huge popularity among Indian users, where the country is its largest market with over 200 million active daily users.