WhatsApp set to integrate Payments Feature

BHIM app UPI india

Unified Payments Interface, the flagship digital payments instrument launched by the Reserve Bank of India, may have seen transactions rise over the past few months, but it has fallen short of its quarterly target by 35% as banks are not promoting the product.

Google is in advanced talks with NPCI to integrate its digital payment service, Android Pay, with UPI. Recent reports confirm that Google is awaiting Reserve Bank of India's approval to launch its UPI service in India.

NPCI MD and CEO AP Hota has confirmed the development to the newspaper.

Officials told PTI Google could have a separate app with its Android Pay application.

"We are always looking for ways to make it easy for people to pay with their mobile devices, for instance Android Pay in some countries, and continually evaluating ways to expand those capabilities to the next billion users", said a Google spokesperson. Considering the fact that Android is a dominant operating system in India with the huge user base. Hota, NPCI's CEO said, "There are big players and such large volumes going through one bank will not be good".

WhatsApp might get UPI integration before Facebook if you go by the latest report. "As far as Whatsapp is concerned, discussions have commenced, it requires a series of discussions". He also added that the debates are the preliminary stage for Facebook.

While Google is developing an India-specific app for UPI-enabled transactions, according to Hota, Uber, on the other hand, wants to allow its users to pay drivers using their choice of UPI-linked accounts.

Back in 2015, Facebook announced peer-to-peer payments on its Messenger app.

Amazon is discussing the launch of UPI with a few banks.

Facebook and WhatsApp are expected to integrate the payment method with their instant messaging. "Technically it is feasible, but RBI would have to take a holistic look. they will have to look whether there are any risks other than the technology aspect", he added. While Facebook had 213 million users in India in April 2017, WhatsApp had around 160 million.

In June, mobile chat platform Hike also launched peer-to-peer payments based on the UPI framework and a native wallet service, becoming the first chat app in India to do so. "UPI is the future of Indian payments and we are proud to be a partner in this monumental mission of the government to facilitate a digital payments led society".