WhatsApp Payments is now available to around 20 million users in the country. The payments feature is being supported by State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank. The WhatsApp Payments feature designed on National Payments Corporation of India's (NPCI) Unified Payment Interface (UPI) system was granted approval to go live in November 2020 on a peer-to-peer basis. This means that users will be able to transfer money in a manner similar to sending messages. Abhijit Bose, Head of WhatsApp, India said, "We're excited and privileged to partner with State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and AXIS Bank to bring simple and secure digital payments to WhatsApp users across India. UPI is a transformative service and we jointly have the opportunity to bring the benefits of our digital economy and financial inclusion to a large number of users who have not had full access to them before." WhatsApp Payments aims to add to the growth of digital transactions in the country along the lines of the government's vision. WhatsApp and UPI together is likely to help in increasing rural participation in the digital economy by "delivering banking and financial services to those who have been bereft of access, so far," says the company.
Bijith Bhaskar, Head - Digital Channels & Partnership, ICICI Bank said, "We have seen an encouraging response from our customers. Over two million users have adopted banking services on WhatsApp in this short span. Now with WhatsApp Payments, there is a unique opportunity to scale essential financial services to people all over the country with ease."